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CAFF Monitoring Series Report No. 7
December 2012
Arctic FreshwAter Biodiversity Monitoring PlAn
Freshwater Expert Monitoring Group, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program
ARCTIC C
OUNCIL
The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) is a Working Group of the Arctic Council.
CAFF Designated Agencies:
• Directorate for Nature Management, Trondheim, Norway
• Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada
• Faroese Museum of Natural History, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (Kingdom of Denmark)
• Finnish Ministry of the Environment, Helsinki, Finland
• Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Reykjavik, Iceland
• The Ministry of Domestic Aairs, Nature and Environment, Greenland
• Russian Federation Ministry of Natural Resources, Moscow, Russia
• Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Stockholm, Sweden
• United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska
CAFF Permanent Participant Organizations:
• Aleut International Association (AIA)
• Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC)
• Gwich’in Council International (GCI)
• Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) – Greenland, Alaska and Canada
• Russian Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON)
• Saami Council
This publication should be cited as: J.M. Culp, W. Goedkoop, J. Lento, K.S. Christoersen,
S. Frenzel, G. Guðbergsson, P. Liljaniemi, S. Sandøy, M. Svoboda, J. Brittain, J. Hammar, D.
Jacobsen, B. Jones, C. Juillet, M. Kahlert, K. Kidd, E. Luiker, J. Olafsson, M. Power, M. Rautio,
A. Ritcey, R. Striegl, M. Svenning, J. Sweetman, M. Whitman. 2012. The Arctic Freshwater
Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. CAFF International Secretariat, CAFF Monitoring Series Report
Nr. 7. CAFF International Secretariat. Akureyri, Iceland. ISBN 978-9935-431-19-6
Cover photo: Arctic lake: Oksana Perkins/Shutterstock.com
For more information please contact:
CAFF International Secretariat
Borgir, Nordurslod
600 Akureyri, Iceland
Phone: +354 462-3350
Fax: +354 462-3390
Email: ca@ca.is
Internet: www.ca.is
CAFF Designated Area
Authors
Joseph Culp
Willem Goedkoop
Jennifer Lento
Kirsten Christoersen
Steve Frenzel
Guðni Guðbergsson
Petri Liljaniemi
Steinar Sandøy
Michael Svoboda
John Brittain
Johan Hammar
Dean Jacobsen
Benjamin Jones
Cedric Juillet
Maria Kahlert
Karen Kidd
Eric Luiker
Jon Olafsson
Michael Power
Milla Rautio
Allison Ritcey
Robert Striegl
Martin Svenning
Jon Sweetman
Matthew Whitman
Layout and editing:
Courtney Price
Acknowledgements
This work was developed by Arctic
freshwater experts from Canada, Denmark,
Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden
and the USA at workshops in Uppsala,
Sweden (2010) and Fredericton, Canada
(2011). The document was improved
by valuable, constructive criticism of
an earlier draft from Patricia Chambers
(Canada), Jaakko Erkinaro (Finland), Mike
Gill (CBMP), Richard Johnson (Sweden),
Sandy Milner (UK), and Jim Reist (Canada).
Sta of the Conservation of Arctic Flora
and Fauna Oce provided advice to the
Freshwater Expert Monitoring Group during
development of the plan. Workshops were
funded by the Canadian Rivers Institute,
Environment Canada and the Swedish
Environmental Protection Agency. Travel
funding was provided by the institutions of
all authors and the CBMP. PDF support to J.
Lento was granted by the Canadian Rivers
Institute (University of New Brunswick) and
Environment Canada. World Physical Map
layer presented in Appendix D created by
the U.S. National Park Service and made
available by ESRI (http://www.arcgis.com/
home/item.html?id=c4ec722a1cd34cf0a23
904aadf8923a0).
The Freshwater Expert Monitoring Group at their Fredericton workshop
to develop the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan. Photo:
The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program
4
Executive Summary
This document develops an Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (The Freshwater Plan) that
details the rationale and framework for improvements related to the monitoring of freshwaters of the
circumpolar Arctic, including ponds, lakes, their tributaries and associated wetlands, as well as rivers,
their tributaries and associated wetlands. The monitoring framework aims to facilitate circumpolar
assessments by providing Arctic countries with a structure and a set of guidelines for initiating and
developing monitoring activities that employ common approaches and indicators. The Freshwater Plan
is part of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) of the Conservation of Arctic Flora
and Fauna (CAFF) that is working with partners to harmonize and enhance long-term Arctic biodiversity
monitoring eorts in order to facilitate more rapid detection, communication and response to signicant
trends and pressures.
The primary objectives of this Freshwater Plan are to:
Develop the critical questions to be addressed for the assessment of Arctic freshwater
biodiversity;
Identify an essential set of Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs) and indicators for freshwater
ecosystems that are suited for monitoring and assessment on a circumpolar level;
Identify abiotic parameters that are relevant to freshwater biodiversity and need ongoing
monitoring;
Articulate detailed impact hypotheses that describe the potential eects of stressors on FEC
indicators;
Determine a core set of standardized protocols and optimal sampling strategies for monitoring
Arctic freshwaters that draws on existing protocols and activities;
Create a strategy for the organization and assessment of existing research and information
(scientic, community-based, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)) to evaluate current
status and trends;
Develop a process for undertaking periodic assessments of Arctic freshwaters including details
of reporting elements and schedules; and
Identify the nancial support and institutional arrangements required to undertake such a
program.
Aerial image of wetlands. Photo: George Burba/Shutterstock.com
5
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
The Freshwater Plan establishes the framework by which national Freshwater Expert Networks (FENs)
and the CBMP Freshwater Steering Group (CBMP-FSG) can cooperate to accumulate existing and
new biodiversity data for the purpose of undertaking circumpolar freshwater assessments. Abiotic
components that strongly aect biotic components, processes, or services will be considered during the
planning and resultant interpretation phase. The rst status and trends assessment will evaluate existing
data, and will occur over the period 2013-2016, while subsequent assessments will make use of data
from continuing monitoring activity. The Arctic regions considered include those areas covered by the
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) and CAFF boundaries, whichever is more inclusive for a particular
area. In addition, the sub-region division developed for the ABA was adopted as an appropriate means
of sub-dividing Arctic freshwaters. This schema divides the Arctic into three sub-regions: high Arctic, low
Arctic and sub-Arctic. Delineation of sub-regions is based on a set of several biogeographical features
like vegetation types, including the northern limit of the timber and treeline, duration of the biologically
productive season and mean annual temperature.
The Freshwater Plan identies a set of criteria for the selection of preferable monitoring sites, namely,
(1)sites with high-quality and long-term data sets, (2) biodiversity hotspots, i.e., areas with high species
richness or unique species composition (e.g., rare species) and high conservation value, (3) medium
to small river catchments and lakes to ensure eective sampling eort and representative species
collection, and (4) sites of high signicance to local communities.
Additional variables for consideration during the selection of sites may include water source (e.g., glacial
vs. non-glacial water bodies), presence or absence of sh, and geomorphic characteristics (e.g., mean
stream width, mean lake depth).
6
The Working Process
Development of the Freshwater Plan is based on a framework document and work undertaken during
workshops held in Uppsala, Sweden and in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Both workshops
included freshwater experts with a broad range of expertise as well as Freshwater Expert Monitoring
Group leads for each nation. These workshops identied important elements, i.e., stressors, FECs,
parameters and indicators, to be incorporated into a pan-Arctic Freshwater Plan. FECs are dened
as biotic or abiotic elements, such as taxa or key abiotic processes, which are ecologically pivotal,
charismatic and/or sensitive to changes in biodiversity. Each of the FECs and indicators was given a rank
of high, medium or low based on importance to ecosystem function and sensitivity to stressors, sampling
feasibility, and data availability. Data for some FECs may not be available in existing Arctic monitoring
databases, and an initial assessment of Arctic freshwater biodiversity status is expected to focus upon
the most commonly monitored FECs, namely sh, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, phytoplankton or
benthic algae, and most abiotic FECs. After the initial assessment, this list should be adjusted based on
the availability of data collected through ongoing monitoring programs of the Arctic countries.
Fifteen environmental and anthropogenic stressor types were identied as most likely having a strong
impact on the FECs. These are listed below (not in order of importance):
Atmospheric Deposition of Short and Long Range Contaminants: Addition of toxic stress to
Arctic freshwater ecosystems resulting in contaminant exposure and biomagnication.
Atmospheric Deposition of SO
x
and NOx (acidication): Direct modication of water chemistry
including decreased pH and calcium, and increased release of aluminum.
Thermal Regime Change: Increasing Arctic temperatures that modify ice regimes and
cumulative thermal degree days in lakes and streams.
Hydrological Regime Change: Shifts in the seasonal pattern of precipitation and ice cover and
the resultant changes to freshwater habitat and seasonal disturbance.
Sediment Regime Change: Permafrost degradation and change in the hydrologic regime that
increases the intensity, magnitude and frequency of disturbance of freshwater habitat through
increased turbidity and shifts towards ner substrate composition.
Wind Regime Change: Shifts in wind force changes snow deposition and water circulation in
lakes resulting in habitat modication.
UV Radiation Regime Change: Increased exposure to UV radiation in shallow habitats of clear
lakes and streams.
Increased Nutrient Loading: Permafrost degradation and changes in hydrologic regime that
lead to higher input of organic matter and inorganic nutrients to aquatic systems.
Shift in Nutrient and Contaminant Levels Due to Biotic Vectors: Refers to the role that increased
or decreased population abundance of migratory species can have in determining the
deposition of nutrients and contaminants to aquatic ecosystems.
Fisheries Over-Harvesting: Refers to shifts in mortality, demographic characteristics, reduced
competition or loss of prey resources that result from unsustainable harvesting of sh stocks by
humans.
7
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Resource Exploration and Exploitation: All stages and forms of resource extraction (e.g.,
hydrocarbon extraction, metal mining, water withdrawal) and their associated impacts such as
wastewater discharge, spills, habitat disturbance and ow regime disturbance.
Transportation and Utility Corridors: Increase in various types of human transportation
corridors including roads, power lines and associated features such as culverts that can aect
environmental conditions including ow, nutrient and sediment regimes, and connectivity.
Flow Alteration: Modication of ow regimes and habitat fragmentation through the
construction of dams used for hydropower generation or stabilization of water supply.
Increased Agricultural Activity: Refers to the eects on aquatic habitats that result from various
agricultural activities such as farming and animal grazing.
Introduction of Alien Genetic Types: Modication of composition and native genetic structure of
aquatic biota through the introduction of new genotypes or invasive species (e.g., for culturing).
The mechanistic link between an environmental or anthropogenic stressor and the FECs was identied
through “Impact Hypotheses”, i.e., predictive statements that outline the potential ways in which selected
stressors (see above) might impact the structural or functional FECs. Information on available freshwater
data for FECs was also summarized, and will be the basis for the rst assessment of freshwaters in
the Arctic. At the workshops, conceptual models of expected stressor-induced change to freshwater
biodiversity and production were also developed for several types of stressors. These include eects
of rising mean water temperature, nutrient enrichment, and catchment resource development on
biodiversity and ecosystem function.
Assessment and Reporting
The Freshwater Plan presents a list of priority parameters and indicators for assessing biodiversity in
Arctic freshwater systems based on the (1) sensitivity to environmental or anthropogenic stressors, (2)
scientic validity and relevance, (3) sustainability and relevance in a monitoring capacity, (4) availability
of targets and thresholds, and (5) practicality/feasibility. Parameters and indicators that met these criteria
were listed for each FEC. This suite of parameters and indicators will be used for the assessment of the
state of Arctic freshwater biodiversity. The Freshwater Plan also outlines biotic and abiotic sampling
approaches for lakes and rivers that are recommended for a long-term monitoring program. These
sampling approaches were designed to establish high-quality, long-term data that can be used to detect
the impact of stressors on freshwater diversity, and include general protocols describing strategies for
site selection, sample collection and processing.
The Freshwater Plan identies four important aspects of a sound sampling strategy for a coordinated
pan-Arctic monitoring program. These are (1) sampling of the full range of habitats (e.g., littoral and
pelagic zones in lakes, ries and pools in rivers) that are important for the overall structure of the
ecosystem and the function of the food web, (2) using xed, sentinel sampling stations and protocols,
(3) prioritizing an intensive and continuous program running at fewer well-chosen sites to evaluate
temporal trends, and (4) developing a network of abiotic and biotic measures from a range of lakes and
rivers across the pan-Arctic. A data management framework for the Freshwater P is also proposed.
The analytical approach proposed for the assessment of data and other information collected through
the Freshwater Plan is divided into two phases. The rst (start-up) phase will rely on existing monitoring
data and traditional knowledge. In this phase, the contemporary status of freshwater biodiversity will
be assessed using data from 1945 to present, while historical conditions will be assessed using available
data from the pre-industrial period and paleolimnological records. The evaluation of contemporary
status and historical trends of Arctic freshwaters will be included in an initial State of Arctic Freshwater
8
Biodiversity report in 2016. The second phase of analysis will involve the future assessment of change in
Arctic freshwaters through the evaluation of coordinated biomonitoring data driven by the Freshwater
Plan. This and subsequent analyses will assess the change in biodiversity and important supporting
variables of Arctic lakes and rivers and will be summarized in subsequent State of Arctic Freshwater
Biodiversity reports that will be completed on a regular basis. In this stage, the collection of data
and analysis of status and trends will be completed by national Freshwater Expert Networks (FENs)
established in each country. Analytical procedures and approaches will be designed and recommended
by the Freshwater Steering Group (CBMP-FSG) to maintain continuity and data quality among the
networks.
These tools include:
Biomonitoring indicators and metrics, including indicator species and biodiversity metrics;
Estimates of biological change through proxy measurements such as changes in temperature
and hydrological regimes and land use;
Multivariate analysis of community structure and associated environmental gradients;
Time-series analysis of biological and physico-chemical trends.
Power analysis will be used to determine whether additional data are required to detect biologically
signicant trends.
Activities related to the Freshwater Plan will be summarized in reports that will include results of
the analysis of data collected through the Freshwater Plan, as well as information on the creation,
development, and assessment of aspects of the plan. The audiences for this information range from
policy-makers to local community residents, and as such, several types of reporting will be necessary.
An initial State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report (to be completed in 2016) will provide the
baseline assessment of the state of freshwater systems in the Arctic, and will act as a reference in time
for the expected ecological change in Arctic
freshwaters beyond 2016. This assessment
will build upon information from the Arctic
Biodiversity Assessment. Regular assessment
reports will evaluate changes beyond the
baseline conditions established in this initial
report.
Lastly, the Freshwater Plan presents the plan
for implementation and administration,
including the governance structure,
timelines, and budget. In addition to
international bodies of the Arctic Council,
other groups involved in the implementation
of the Freshwater Plan will include national,
sub-national and local jurisdictions across
the Arctic that already undertake biodiversity
monitoring. Implementation and program
review incorporates the CBMP’s network-
of-networks approach and aims to provide
value-added information on the state of
Arctic freshwaters that is useful for national
and other reporting needs. Ultimately, it will
be the responsibility of each Arctic country to
implement the Freshwater Plan in order for
the program to succeed. Northern Swedish shoreline. Photo: Andreas Gradin/Shutterstock
9
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements .................................................................................................... 3
Executive Summary ....................................................................................................4
1. Introduction and Background .............................................................................13
1.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................... 14
1.1.1 Overview of Arctic freshwater monitoring........................................................................................ 14
1.1.2 Document structure ................................................................................................................................. 15
1.2 Background on the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan .................................................... 16
1.2.1 CBMP ecosystem-based and network of networks approach .................................................. 16
1.2.2 Development of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan .................................... 16
1.2.3 Objectives of the Freshwater Integrated Monitoring Plan .......................................................... 19
1.3 Important Concepts and Terminology ............................................................................................................. 19
1.3.1 Denition of biodiversity ......................................................................................................................... 19
1.3.2 Water body classication ......................................................................................................................... 20
1.3.3 Terminology.................................................................................................................................................. 21
1.4 Freshwater Assessment Process and Broad Questions to be Addressed ............................................. 21
1.5 Linkages and Relevance to Other Programs and Activities ...................................................................... 22
2. Arctic Biogeography and Freshwater Areas .......................................................23
2.1 Criteria Used to Select Water bodies for Monitoring ................................................................................... 24
3. Conceptual Scenarios of Arctic Freshwater Ecosystems ....................................27
4. Selecting Focal Ecosystem Components, Parameters, and Indicators .............33
4.1 Process for Identifying and Selecting Focal Ecosystem Components, Parameters, and Indicators 34
4.1.1 Background paper and workshop process ....................................................................................... 34
4.1.2 Scoping process .......................................................................................................................................... 34
4.1.3 Criteria for Selecting Parameters and Indicators ............................................................................ 35
5. Coordinated Monitoring: Focal Ecosystem Components, Stressors, Impact
Hypotheses, and Indicators .....................................................................................36
5.1 Focal Ecosystem Components............................................................................................................................. 37
5.2 Environmental and Human Activity Stressors ............................................................................................... 38
5.3 Impact Hypotheses for Lakes and Rivers ......................................................................................................... 38
5.4 Indicators for Lakes and Rivers ............................................................................................................................ 42
6. Sampling Approach and Recommended Protocols ...........................................44
6.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................... 45
6.1.1 Basic monitoring program ...................................................................................................................... 45
6.1.2 Overall sampling strategy ....................................................................................................................... 46
6.1.3 Sampling sites.............................................................................................................................................. 47
6.2 Lake Monitoring Approach .................................................................................................................................. 47
6.2.1 Recommendations for general sampling approach ...................................................................... 51
6.2.1.1 Supporting variables ...................................................................................................................................................................52
6.2.2 Biotic FECs ..................................................................................................................................................... 52
6.2.2.1 Plankton ...........................................................................................................................................................................................52
6.2.2.2 Benthos .............................................................................................................................................................................................52
6.2.2.3 Fish .....................................................................................................................................................................................................53
10
6.2.2.4 Macrophytes ...................................................................................................................................................................................54
6.2.2.5 Aquatic birds ...................................................................................................................................................................................54
6.2.3 Abiotic FECs ................................................................................................................................................. 55
6.2.3.1 Water temperature regime ........................................................................................................................................................55
6.2.3.2 Hydrological and ice regimes ...................................................................................................................................................55
6.2.3.3 Water quality ...................................................................................................................................................................................56
6.2.3.4 Climatic regime ..............................................................................................................................................................................56
6.2.3.5 Permafrost and active layer .......................................................................................................................................................56
6.3 River Monitoring Approach .................................................................................................................................. 57
6.3.1 Recommendations for general sampling approach ...................................................................... 59
6.3.1.1 Supporting variables ...................................................................................................................................................................59
6.3.2 Biotic FECs ..................................................................................................................................................... 59
6.3.2.1 Benthic algae ..................................................................................................................................................................................59
6.3.2.2 Benthic macroinvertebrates ......................................................................................................................................................60
6.3.2.3 Fish .....................................................................................................................................................................................................61
6.3.2.4 Riparian vegetation ......................................................................................................................................................................62
6.3.3 Abiotic FECs .................................................................................................................................................. 62
6.3.3.1 Water temperature regime ........................................................................................................................................................62
6.3.3.2 Hydrologic and ice regimes .......................................................................................................................................................63
6.3.3.3 Water quality ...................................................................................................................................................................................63
6.3.3.4 Climatic regime ..............................................................................................................................................................................63
6.3.3.5 Permafrost and active layer .......................................................................................................................................................63
7. Data Management Framework ............................................................................ 64
7.1 Data Management Objectives for the CBMP ................................................................................................. 65
7.2 Purpose of Data Management ............................................................................................................................ 65
7.3 Coordinated Data Management and Access: the CBMP Web-based Data Portal (www.abds.is) 66
7.4 Data Storage, Policy and Standards ..................................................................................................................68
8. Data, Samples, and Information Analysis ..........................................................69
8.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................... 70
8.2 Basis for Analysis .......................................................................................................................................................70
8.2.1 Start-up phase (2013 -2016) ................................................................................................................... 70
8.2.1.1 Contemporary status (1945 to present) ................................................................................................................................71
8.2.1.2 Historical conditions ..................................................................................................................................................................71
8.2.2 Second phase (Beyond 2016) ................................................................................................................ 72
8.2.2.1 Future conditions (Present to 100 years from now) .........................................................................................................72
8.3 Analytical Approach ................................................................................................................................................ 72
9. Reporting ............................................................................................................... 73
9.1 Audiences ................................................................................................................................................................... 74
9.2 Types and Timing of Reporting ........................................................................................................................... 74
9.3 Reporting Results ..................................................................................................................................................... 76
9.3.1 State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report ......................................................................................................................76
9.3.2 Status of indicators ..........................................................................................................................................................................76
9.3.3 Program review .................................................................................................................................................................................76
9.3.4 Scientic publications .....................................................................................................................................................................77
9.3.5 Performance reports and work plans ........................................................................................................................................77
9.3.6 Summaries and other communications material .................................................................................................................77
10. Freshwater Implementation and Administration ............................................ 78
10.1 Governing Structure ............................................................................................................................................. 79
10.2 Program Review ..................................................................................................................................................... 80
10.3 Implementation Schedule and Budget ......................................................................................................... 81
11
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
11. Literature Cited ...................................................................................................85
12. Glossary of Acronyms .........................................................................................90
Appendix A. Terms of Reference ..............................................................................92
I. Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................... 93
II. CBMP Freshwater Steering Group Goals ............................................................................................................ 93
III. Administration ............................................................................................................................................................94
A. Membership....................................................................................................................................................... 94
B. Leadership .......................................................................................................................................................... 94
C. Coordination .....................................................................................................................................................95
D. Work plan ............................................................................................................................................................ 95
E. Decision-making ............................................................................................................................................... 95
F. Expenses .............................................................................................................................................................. 95
IV. National Freshwater Expert Networks ............................................................................................................... 95
Appendix B. Detailed Justication of FECs for Initial and Future Monitoring ..... 96
Appendix C. Monitoring Protocol Details ............................................................103
C.1 Three-tier approach .............................................................................................................................................. 104
C.2 Lake Monitoring Protocols ................................................................................................................................104
C.2.1 Biotic FECs ...................................................................................................................................................104
C.2.1.1 Plankton ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 104
C.2.1.2 Benthos ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 105
C.2.1.3 Fish .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 107
C.2.1.4 Macrophytes ................................................................................................................................................................................ 109
C.2.1.5 Aquatic birds ...............................................................................................................................................................................109
C.2.2 Abiotic FECs ..............................................................................................................................................110
C.2.2.1 Water temperature regime ..................................................................................................................................................... 110
C.2.2.2 Hydrologic and ice regimes ................................................................................................................................................... 110
C.2.2.3 Water quality ............................................................................................................................................................................... 111
C.2.2.4 Climatic regime ..........................................................................................................................................................................112
C.2.2.5 Permafrost and active layer .................................................................................................................................................... 113
C.3 River Monitoring Protocols.................................................................................................................................114
C.3.1 Biotic FECs ...................................................................................................................................................114
C.3.1.1 Benthic algae ...............................................................................................................................................................................114
C.3.1.2 Benthic macroinvertebrates .................................................................................................................................................. 115
C.3.1.3 Fish .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 116
C.3.1.4 Riparian vegetation ...................................................................................................................................................................119
C.3.2 Abiotic FECs ...............................................................................................................................................119
C.3.2.1 Water temperature regime ..................................................................................................................................................... 119
C.3.2.2 Hydrologic and ice regimes ................................................................................................................................................... 119
C.3.2.3 Water quality ............................................................................................................................................................................... 120
C.3.2.4 Climatic regime ..........................................................................................................................................................................121
C.3.2.5 Permafrost and active layer .................................................................................................................................................... 121
C.4 Additional Methods for Sampling and Analyzing FECs in Lakes and Rivers ....................................122
C.4.1 Stable isotope analysis of food web structure ..............................................................................122
C.4.2 Remote sensing ........................................................................................................................................123
Appendix D. Current and Historical Sampling Coverage Maps by FEC ..............125
Appendix E. Data Storage, Policy and Standards Details ...................................147
I. Data Storage ................................................................................................................................................................148
II. Data Policy 148
12
B. Intellectual property rights ......................................................................................................................... 148
C. Data sharing and access ..............................................................................................................................149
D. Data release code .........................................................................................................................................149
E. Data use restrictions ......................................................................................................................................149
F. Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................................................... 150
III. Data and Metadata Standards ............................................................................................................................150
Polygone tundra, Lena Delta, Sakha Republic, Siberia, Russia. Photo: Peter Prokosch, UNEP-GRID Arendal
Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010
13
1. Introduction and Background
14
1.1 Introduction
1.1.1 Overview of Arctic freshwater monitoring
Maintaining healthy Arctic ecosystems is a global imperative as the Arctic plays a critical role in the
Earth’s physical, chemical and biological systems. These ecosystems are also of fundamental economic,
cultural and spiritual importance to Arctic residents, many of whom maintain close connection to the
land (e.g., harvesting food). To meet these challenges, the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program
(CBMP) of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) is working with partners to harmonize
and enhance long-term Arctic biodiversity monitoring eorts to facilitate more rapid detection,
communication and response to signicant environmental pressures.
Arctic freshwater ecosystems, here dened as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and their associated wetlands
(see Section 1.3), are under increasing threat from stressors including climate change, contaminants,
introduced species, increased UV radiation exposure, and resource development (e.g., Hammar 1989;
Reist et al. 2006a, c). Climate change, for example, is predicted to cause direct and indirect eects to
these systems and the biodiversity they support, including the sh used by Northerners. Changes in the
physical and chemical properties of freshwater systems will result in modications to water temperature
and ice cover regimes, thawing permafrost, hydrological processes and water balance (Prowse et al.
2006a, b; Christoersen et al. 2008). Other transformations in biodiversity will be related to the impact of
growing competition from southern species expanding northwards (Reist et al. 2006b). These stressors
are expected to produce changes to freshwater sheries around the Arctic and modify aquatic plant,
invertebrate and vertebrate distributions. Ecosystem services to humans also will be aected through
various impacts such as changes in sheries harvest, drinking water source, and disposal of municipal
waste.
Alaskan lake. Photo: no_use_for_a_name/Shutterstock.com
15
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Despite the growing pressures to freshwater biodiversity noted previously in the Arctic Climate Impact
Assessment (Wrona et al. 2006a, c), freshwater monitoring eorts in the Arctic are very limited, largely
uncoordinated and lack the ability to detect, understand and respond to biodiversity trends at the
circumpolar scale (Culp et al. 2011a). Because of the Arctic’s size and its diversity of freshwater habitats,
the qualitative and quantitative detection of shifts in biodiversity is extremely challenging. This task
demands a rigorous, integrated ecosystem-based approach that identies circumpolar Arctic trends
in biodiversity, indicates the underlying causes of these trends, and has the ability to detect change
within a reasonable time frame. Such a strategic approach must be developed over time with the
cooperation of various stakeholders, including the northern communities, policy makers and the science
community. Indeed, an initial coordination of sampling eorts and assessment of the current state of
Arctic freshwaters is required to provide a foundation upon which a long-term monitoring approach can
be built. Towards this end, the CBMP facilitates an integrated, ecosystem-based monitoring approach
through the convening of expert groups for the major themes of Arctic Freshwater, Marine, Coastal, and
Terrestrial. These groups function as a forum for scientists, community experts and managers to promote,
facilitate, and coordinate pan-Arctic research and monitoring activities. The monitoring plans they
produce provide a framework for improved and cost-eective monitoring designed to have a greater
ability to detect and understand signicant trends in Arctic biodiversity.
1.1.2 Document structure
This document develops an Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (The Freshwater Plan) that
details the rationale and framework for improvements related to monitoring the freshwaters of the
circumpolar Arctic. This monitoring framework aims to facilitate circumpolar assessments by providing a
structure and a set of guidelines for initiating and further developing monitoring activities that employ
common approaches and indicators. The Freshwater Plan will be developed and improved further as
it is implemented and as sequential assessments with specic terms of reference and objectives are
completed.
The Freshwater Plan adheres to the guidelines developed by the World Bank for the design and
implementation of biodiversity monitoring programs (World Bank 1998). The World Bank report outlines
the primary requirements for a successful biodiversity and monitoring plan, namely that it have clear
statements regarding the: (1) questions and objectives to be addressed; (2) suite of chosen indicators; (3)
frequency of and responsibility for monitoring; (4) frequency of and parties responsible for assessments;
(5) list of training and nancial support required to complete the program; (6) intended audience for
the assessments; (7) linkage between assessments and management decisions; (8) decision points at
which action must be taken to address negative trends; and (9) costs and funding sources for the various
activities.
The remainder of this chapter outlines the background on the Freshwater Plan and its development,
including program design and objectives, important concepts and terminology, the assessment process
and questions it will address, and linkages to other international programs. Chapter 2 discusses focal
Arctic regions for assessment and the criteria used to select freshwater bodies to be monitored. General
conceptual models for lake and river ecosystems are developed in Chapter 3 to help identify biotic
and abiotic elements to be monitored for status and trend assessments. A central component of the
development of the Freshwater Plan was the identication of Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs)
and indicators (see section 1.3); this scoping process is described in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 details the
identied FECs and indicators, and lists stressors that could aect them. Chapter 5 also includes detailed
hypotheses of potential impacts on FECs. Sampling strategy and design for lakes and rivers is discussed
in Chapter 6, data management is reviewed in Chapter 7, suggested analytical approaches for data
assessment are outlined in Chapter 8, and the various reporting elements are described in Chapter 9.
Finally, the institutional arrangements and determination of who is responsible for implementing and
sustaining future monitoring and assessment is presented in Chapter 10.
16
1.2 Background on the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan
1.2.1 CBMP ecosystem-based and network of networks approach
The ecosystem approach applied by the CBMP is part of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
framework, which strategically integrates the management of land, water and living resources to
promote conservation and sustainable use of resources. Ecosystem integrity is investigated through
scientic methodologies aimed at assessing levels of biological organization that include essential
ecosystem processes and functions, and interactions among organisms and their environment. Notably,
humans are considered an integral component of ecosystems.
Central to applying the ecosystem approach is the formation of Expert Monitoring Groups (EMGs) and
the development of monitoring frameworks designed for each ecosystem theme identied by the
CBMP, namely the Freshwater, Terrestrial, Marine, and Coastal monitoring components (Fig. 1). Each EMG
produces monitoring frameworks and methodologies that provide the details for integrating, managing
and analyzing existing and new data. This data assessment process will produce new knowledge on the
state of Arctic biodiversity and aid stakeholders, including northern communities, scientists and policy
makers.
An assumption of the CBMP conceptual model is that each EMG incorporates a Network of Networks
approach that links multiple monitoring frameworks within and among the Arctic countries to the
overarching Integrated Monitoring Plan. Moreover, links to extra Arctic networks (including and beyond
Arctic boundaries) will also be made to provide more scope and understanding. Ultimately, EMG outputs
will be amalgamated by the CBMP to identify important linkages among the ecosystem components
and to determine whether these linkages have implications for Arctic freshwater biodiversity. Eorts will
be made to incorporate existing monitoring networks and to foster interaction with other Arctic Council
programs such as the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program (AMAP).
As noted by Mackinson (2001) and Gofman (2010), and also discussed in the Arctic Marine Biodiversity
Monitoring Plan (Gill et al. 2011), Arctic residents can and do play an important role in the evaluation
of Arctic biodiversity through contributions to standard scientic monitoring procedures as citizen-
scientists and through the provision of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). A vital aspect of this
contribution is the increased capacity that Arctic residents contribute so monitoring programs can be
expanded to additional sites and seasons. Thus, the ecosystem-based, network-of-network approach will
facilitate contributions to the Freshwater Plan by circum-Arctic Indigenous peoples and residents. This
will help strengthen the infrastructure of the Freshwater Plan and ensure that the program is relevant
and responsive to local concerns.
1.2.2 Development of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan
The CBMP established the Freshwater Expert Monitoring Group (Freshwater EMG) in January 2010 to
develop a framework for an integrated, ecosystem-based approach for monitoring Arctic freshwater
biodiversity. This framework, or Freshwater Plan, was created during two workshops attended by
freshwater experts from the Arctic countries. The rst workshop in Uppsala, Sweden identied important
elements (stressors, FECs, parameters and indicators) to be incorporated into a pan-Arctic Freshwater
monitoring plan. Linkages between environmental or anthropogenic stressors and FECs were described
as impact hypotheses (Culp et al. 2011b). A second workshop in Fredericton, Canada rened the lists of
FECs, parameters and indices, and produced lists of priority freshwater elements and a draft Freshwater
Plan.
The Freshwater EMG based its work on the principle that the Freshwater Plan should aid Arctic countries
in developing monitoring plans to inventory existing Arctic biodiversity monitoring activities. These data
would form the basis for status and trend assessments of Arctic freshwaters. The Freshwater Plan should
17
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Figure 1. Relationship of Expert Monitoring Groups to the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program of the Conservation
of Arctic Flora and Fauna.
18
also facilitate the coordination and harmonization of freshwater biodiversity monitoring activities among
circumpolar Arctic countries. Additionally, the Freshwater Plan would improve ongoing communication
among and between scientists, community experts, managers and disciplines both inside and outside
the Arctic.
Group consensus within the Freshwater EMG determined that status and trend assessments would best
be produced by a CBMP Freshwater Steering Group (see Chapter 10 for program details) charged with
coordinating the rollup of monitoring information from all Arctic countries into circumpolar assessments.
A Freshwater Expert Network (FEN) for each country would be responsible for providing national
status and trend information to the CBMP Freshwater Steering Group for periodic assessments. These
circumpolar assessments would also inform the public, as well as policy- and decision-makers (local to
the international level), on the state of Arctic freshwaters. Furthermore, the assessments would provide a
forum for incorporating ongoing scientic input and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into existing
monitoring programs.
Thus, working with the national FENs, the CBMP Freshwater Steering Group would provide information
on status and trends in Arctic biodiversity to the Arctic Council and its working groups, other CBMP
EMGs, the international scientic community, global monitoring and assessment networks and
conventions (e.g. Global Earth Observation – Biodiversity Observing Network, the Convention on
Biological Diversity (see CBD COP 10 Decision X/III) and the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership), and
where appropriate, to national assessments (Fig. 2). The national FENs and the CBMP Freshwater Steering
Group will identify gaps in monitoring coverage, promote improved communication and linkages among
Arctic researchers and monitoring groups, and contribute to the identication of scientic questions.
Figure 2. Flow diagram and framework illustrating the various CBMP freshwater outputs and linkages to Arctic Council
assessments, other working groups and CBMP EMGs, the scientic community, and national programs.
Arctic Council
CAFF
CBMP
National
Assessments
Other Working Groups
(e.g., AMAP)
Other EMGs
Other Assessments
(e.g., ABA)
CBMP Freshwater Outputs
1. Integrated Monitoring Plan
1. Periodic pan-Arctic status/trends reports
1. Information other assessments, EMGs WGs
1. Input into national programs
internal
reporting
integrated WG Monitoring
Journal Articles
19
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
1.2.3 Objectives of the Freshwater Integrated Monitoring Plan
The Freshwater Plan provides Arctic countries with a common framework and approach for developing
monitoring activities and circumpolar freshwater assessments. A basic premise applied by the Freshwater
EMG is that the Freshwater Plan will continue to be developed and improved through time. The primary
objectives of this Freshwater Plan are to:
Develop the questions to be addressed by an assessment of Arctic freshwater biodiversity;
Identify an essential set of FECs and indicators for freshwater ecosystems that are suited for
monitoring and assessment on a circumpolar level;
Identify abiotic parameters that are relevant to freshwater biodiversity and need ongoing
monitoring;
Articulate detailed impact hypotheses that describe the potential eects of stressors on FEC
indicators;
Identify a core set of standardized protocols and optimal sampling strategies for monitoring
Arctic freshwaters that draws on existing protocols and activities;
Create a strategy for the organization of existing research and information (scientic,
community-based, and TEK) to evaluate current status and trends;
Develop a process for undertaking periodic assessments of Arctic freshwaters including details
of reporting elements and schedules; and
Identify the nancial support and institutional arrangements required to undertake such a
program.
1.3 Important Concepts and Terminology
1.3.1 Denition of biodiversity
In keeping with the protocol used by the Marine EMG (Gill et al. 2011), the Freshwater EMG adopted
the denition of biodiversity forwarded by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In Article 2 of
the CBD, biodiversity is described as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including,
among other things, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes
of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
Under this denition, biodiversity includes components at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels
in freshwaters of the circumpolar Arctic. The Freshwater EMG emphasized the need to monitor many
elements of ecosystems including, for example, populations, community structure, ecosystem processes
and function, as well components of the abiotic environment.
Human activities impose stressors that are anticipated to change Arctic freshwater biodiversity. Heino et
al. (2009) provide a useful conceptual framework for relating anthropogenic inuences to biodiversity
loss that is applied here to help structure questions addressed by the Freshwater Plan (Fig. 3). As detailed
in Chapters 3 and 5, climatic change through increased water temperature and altered hydrologic
regimes has the potential to modify aquatic biodiversity at multiple spatial scales. In addition, various
human activities, such as resource development, land-use change, and the resultant increased human
population growth in the Arctic, are expected to directly aect freshwater biodiversity. The Freshwater
EMG monitoring framework provides improved understanding of the basic relationships between
Arctic freshwater biodiversity and the stressors that are predicted to produce ecosystem change, thus
addressing a primary recommendation of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (Wrona et al. 2006d).
20
Figure 3. Diagram illustrating the relationships among climate change and other important anthropogenic inuences such as
changes in land use and the eects on biodiversity of Arctic freshwaters. Adapted from Heino et. al. (2009) and Kappelle et al.
(1999).
1.3.2 Water body classication
The Freshwater Plan provides a framework for monitoring freshwater systems including ponds, lakes,
their tributaries and associated wetlands, as well as rivers, their tributaries and associated wetlands.
Following expert discussion, the Freshwater EMG chose to consider wetlands as extensions of lake and
river habitats following previous decisions and denitions of the Ramsar Convention (Ramsar Convention
Secretariat 2011). Abiotic and biotic components and processes that occur within wetlands and that
directly inuence lentic and lotic water bodies (e.g., terrestrial-aquatic linkages, such as the storing of
contaminants in wetland soils and their release into adjacent water bodies with ooding events) will be
included in status assessments. Wetlands not directly associated with lentic and lotic water bodies will be
a component included in the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan.
There are no universal technical denitions to distinguish between streams and rivers, or ponds and
lakes, for the purpose of classifying water bodies, although dierentiation is generally based on water
body size. Classication of running waters is predominantly by means of stream order, which uses size
and position within the drainage network to classify the smallest streams (1st order) to the largest rivers
(approximately 12th order). The Freshwater Plan was designed to facilitate inclusion of streams and rivers
across the entire range of stream orders found in the Arctic, to the extent that monitoring activities
Biodiversity Change
Climate Regime Human Activity
Arctic Freshwater
Biodiversity
Changes to:
Ecosystems and habitat characteristics
Species composition and richness
Geographic distribution of species
Atmospheric increase in greenhouse gases
Global changes in temperature and precipitation
Increased temperature
Permafrost degradation
Altered hydrologic pattern
Land use changes
Resource development
Increased population size
21
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
remain feasible.
The international Ramsar wetland convention uses 8 ha (~80,000 m2) as the upper size limit for a pond,
but limnologists have not adopted this convention. Consequently, there are regional or country-specic
denitions of standing water bodies between 1 m2 and 50,000 m2 in area (i.e., up to ~5 ha). Other criteria
including the light regime (transparency to the bottom) and duration of the water-lled period have
been suggested as part of the denition (see Rautio et al. 2011). In the CBMP context, we have agreed
to keep a pragmatic denition that conicts minimally with existing country-based denitions. A pond
in the pan-Arctic region means a body of water, whether man-made or natural, of approx. 5-10,000 m2
(0.5-1 ha) and with an average depth (for the ice-free period) of 1-2 m, meaning that light can penetrate
to the bottom during summer and that the water column freezes solid during winter. Thus, lakes in the
CBMP context are dened as water bodies that exceed the above criteria.
1.3.3 Terminology
The following are denitions of frequently used terms (many of which were adapted from Gill et al. 2011)
that are used throughout the Freshwater Plan:
Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs) are biotic or abiotic elements, such as taxa or abiotic
processes, which are ecologically pivotal, charismatic or sensitive to changes in biodiversity;
A parameter is a measure used to describe the state of a particular component of an ecosystem
(sometimes referred to as a variable);
An indicator is a parameter, or suite of parameters, used to report on the state of an ecosystem or
a component of that ecosystem that can be expressed either quantitatively or qualitatively; and
An index (indices) is an aggregation or syntheses of indicators used to provide an overall
perspective on a trend or change over time. Indices are intended to make identifying patterns
easier by facilitating expression of relative rates of change.
Impact Hypotheses are statements that outline the potential ways in which selected stressors
might impact the structural or functional FECs.
1.4 Freshwater Assessment Process and Broad Questions to be Addressed
The Freshwater Plan establishes the framework by which the national Freshwater Expert Networks
and the CBMP Freshwater Steering Group can accumulate existing and new data for the purpose of
undertaking circumpolar freshwater assessments. The framework will facilitate an initial assessment of
the status of Arctic freshwater biodiversity and subsequent assessment of trends. Steps in this process
include (see Chapter 10 and Table 12 for the full schedule):
1. Establishment of Freshwater Steering Group and national FENs;
2. Collection of existing monitoring data, including historical data where these are available;
3. Assessment of historical and contemporary monitoring data for the initial State of Arctic
Freshwater Biodiversity report;
4. Coordination of continued monitoring within each national FEN, and application of the
sampling approach recommended in Freshwater Plan;
5. Ongoing assessment of trends in monitoring data and creation of State of Arctic Freshwater
Biodiversity reports; and
6. Periodic and ongoing program reviews to assess program eectiveness.
The rst status and trends assessment will evaluate existing data, and occur between 2013-2016,
while subsequent assessments will make use of data from continuing and new monitoring activities.
Assessments will focus on the biotic components, processes, and services of lentic and lotic water bodies
including ponds, lakes, their tributaries and associated wetlands, as well as rivers, their tributaries and
associated wetlands. Abiotic components that strongly aect biotic components, processes, or services
22
will be considered during the planning and resultant interpretation phase. In some instances, changes
in abiotic variables may be used as proxies to estimate shifts in biodiversity (e.g., loss of shallow water
habitat). The spatial area of interest for these assessments will include freshwaters of the high, low and
sub-Arctic north of the treeline. This area incorporates the geographical boundaries identied by CAFF
and the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (see Chapter 2 for more details). More southerly water bodies
entering or draining into this prescribed area may also be considered to increase data coverage for
assessments (e.g., use of alpine regions as a proxy for higher latitudes).
Over the long-term, the assessments should address the following overarching questions:
1. What is the current status of freshwater biodiversity in the Arctic?
2. Can biodiversity and ecological status in the Arctic be measured with simple variables and
indicators, and if so, what suite of variables should be measured?
3. Are alpha and beta biodiversity changing, and if so, are they increasing or declining, and are
species moving or disappearing?
4. What are the primary environmental and anthropogenic stressors causing the observed changes
in biodiversity?
5. Are boundaries of the Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems shifting?
The above questions are highly ambitious because articulation of overarching questions is a basic
requirement of such large, integrated programs. The details of how each question is to be addressed will
be developed in the specic terms of reference and objectives for future assessments.
1.5 Linkages and Relevance to Other Programs and Activities
Outputs of a coordinated monitoring approach for Arctic freshwater ecosystems will serve a number
of mandates at various scales (see Figs. 1 and 2). The resulting information, as much as possible, will
be provided at a local scale to serve decision-making. This will be achieved partly through local-scale,
community-based monitoring approaches as discussed above, but also through interpolation and
modeling techniques to provide information that residents of the Arctic can use to make eective
adaptation decisions.
The outputs will also be of direct value to national and regional governments and departments who
have a mandate for monitoring and reporting on the status of Arctic freshwater ecosystems. Optimal
sampling schemes and standardized, integrated approaches to monitoring will allow regional and
national governments to better understand trends and the mechanisms driving those trends. Only
through a structured and collaborative eort can a government or department gain the ability to detect
and understand trends experienced in their region, and therefore, eectively respond to those trends.
Additional international linkages will include the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation
Network (GEO-BON) Freshwater Working Group as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),
to contribute to the status and trends information that the CBMP will deliver to meet 2020 CBD targets.
The Arctic Council will also be a direct beneciary of the outputs of this collaborative eort. The outputs
of the pan-Arctic freshwater monitoring and assessment process will help populate Arctic Council
assessments and raise issues facing Arctic freshwater ecosystems that require a coordinated pan-Arctic or
even global response.
In conclusion, while most Arctic biodiversity monitoring networks are national or regional in scope,
there is substantive added value in establishing circumpolar connections among monitoring networks.
The development of a pan-Arctic, long-term freshwater biodiversity monitoring plan will facilitate
circumpolar connections between national and regional research and monitoring networks, thereby
greatly increasing the power to detect and attribute change for a reduced cost compared to multiple,
uncoordinated approaches.
2. Arctic Biogeography and Freshwater Areas
24
The Arctic represents a vast array of freshwater habitats that dier in many environmental attributes such
as temperature and ice regimes, hydrological processes, catchment size, and geology. These dierences
create substantial challenges for the development of monitoring design, sampling protocols and data
analyses. To reduce the range of catchment types to be assessed and to improve eectiveness of the
monitoring plan, the Freshwater EMG made the decision to divide the Arctic into sub-regions with clearly
dened and relatively uniform biogeographical characteristics. This approach permits more meaningful
spatial comparisons across the Arctic and will provide a framework by which status and trends can be
reported.
Several biogeographical delineations have been developed for the Arctic and its sub-regions,
including the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM Team 2003), boundaries of the AMAP and
CAFF Arctic Council programs, and the demarcations used by CAFF’s Arctic Biodiversity Assessment
(ABA), among others. In some cases, the delineation of geographic boundaries and Arctic sub-regions
has been completed on the basis of scientic interpretation (for example, of vegetation patterns),
while other boundaries do not include sub-regions and have been set by political discussion (e.g., the
CAFF boundary). To incorporate aspects of both these forms of boundary delineation without being
exclusionary, the Arctic regions considered in this program will include those areas covered by the ABA
and CAFF boundaries (Fig. 4), whichever is more inclusive for a particular area. In addition, the sub-
region division developed for the ABA was determined to be an appropriate and feasible means of
sub-dividing Arctic freshwaters for the Freshwater Plan. This schema divides the Arctic into three sub-
regions: high Arctic, low Arctic and sub-Arctic (Fig. 4). Delineation of sub-regions is based on several
biogeographical features adopted from the division of vegetation types, including the northern limit of
the timber and treeline, duration of the biologically productive season and mean annual temperature.
Ecological characteristics such as productivity and sensitivity to environmental change will likely be
similar within sub-regions, allowing for comparison of dierent water bodies within the region with the
aim of reducing variation and increasing statistical power of status and trend assessments. Moreover,
the regional classication of Arctic freshwaters facilitates a spatially extensive sampling plan, with
representation of all areas of the Arctic.
The study area was further expanded to include alpine regions that may be ecologically similar to the
Arctic despite being outside of the spatial boundaries dening the Arctic. Only alpine areas that are
spatially continuous with Arctic regions (e.g., areas of southern Norway and Sweden) will be included
to highlight the physical connection between these areas that allows for northward dispersal. Other
discontinuous alpine areas may be considered for inclusion on a site-by-site basis if approved through
discussion with the CBMP Freshwater Steering Group. However, lower latitude, discontinuous alpine
areas are generally excluded from the Freshwater Plan.
2.1 Criteria Used to Select Water bodies for Monitoring
The individual characteristics of lakes and rivers can dier strongly on a sub-regional level. As ecological
condition is in part driven by hydromorphology and physicochemistry, this sub-regional variation can
lead to a wide range of ecological responses to anthropogenic impacts. This creates a need to decrease
the variation by setting guidelines for the selection of monitoring sites. A goal of the Freshwater Plan
is to develop a monitoring network that provides clear guidance for the selection of representative
sets of lakes and rivers to be monitored, such that these freshwater ecosystems characterize dominant
biodiversity patterns at the sub-regional level.
One way to characterize the ecological diversity among sites is to classify water bodies by morphological
and physicochemical characteristics. Parameters contributing to the dierent classications of water
body types could include size, ow conditions, temperature, alkalinity and humic content. The EU Water
Framework Directive uses such a type-specic management of water bodies. European countries have
dened a number of specic river and lake types covering the whole range of lake and river variability.
25
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
This typication system could also be adopted in the Freshwater Plan and could help in the assessment
of environmental status. However, such a classication would require analysis of the full range of
hydromorphological and physicochemical conditions across the pan-Arctic region, and is not possible
prior to an initial assessment of Arctic freshwater systems.
Biological monitoring data from Arctic freshwaters are scarce and scattered across various databases and
publications. Therefore, in an initial analysis of the status and trends in Arctic freshwaters, the possibilities
to restrict the variation in data collection methods and set tight standards for existing monitoring site
data are limited. When an initial assessment has been completed by 2016 and the design of a long-term
monitoring network nalized, the structure of the monitoring network should preferably be adjusted
towards a more harmonized monitoring scheme. However, a certain degree of conservatism is necessary
with regards to changing methods to preserve existing long time data series. At present, the criteria for
the selection of preferable monitoring sites are as follows (in order of decreasing importance):
1. Sites with high-quality and long-term data sets. These sites provide the opportunity to estimate
long-term trends in Arctic freshwater environments;
2. Biodiversity hotspots, which are areas with high species richness, or sites with unique species
composition (e.g., rare species) and high conservation value. These areas are important for the
overall picture of Arctic freshwater biodiversity;
3. Small systems (e.g., medium to small river catchments and lakes) to ensure eective sampling
eort and representative species collection. Small systems are often more sensitive to
environmental change, but sh populations in these systems may also be sensitive to extensive
sampling; and
4. Locations and sites of high signicance to local communities. This last criterion provides links to
Arctic residents and community-based monitoring opportunities.
Additional variables for consideration during the selection of sites may include water source (e.g., glacial
vs. non-glacial water bodies), presence or absence of sh, and geomorphic characteristics (e.g., mean
stream width, mean lake depth). The above list of criteria will be reviewed after 2016 when the results of
the status and trends analyses using current data is completed and statistical power has been assessed.
Siberian river. Photo: Sergey Lukyanov/Shutterstock.com
26
Figure 4. Arctic freshwater boundaries from the Arctic Council’s Arctic Biodiversity Assessment developed by CAFF, showing
the three sub-regions of the Arctic, namely the high (dark purple), low (purple) and sub-Arctic (light purple), and the CAFF
boundary (grey line).
3. Conceptual Scenarios of Arctic
Freshwater Ecosystems
28
General conceptual models for freshwater ecosystems were developed to identify the impacts
that potential changes to Arctic ecosystems could have on lake and river biodiversity, production
and functioning. The cumulative eects of these changes are dependent on individual catchment
characteristics, including the geology, topography and rate of human-induced pressures. Cumulative
eects and their magnitude may vary in time and space, with considerable uncertainty associated with
predicting the long-term ecosystem responses to human impact. Despite the local/regional variation of
cumulative eects imposed by multiple environmental and anthropogenic stressors, the development of
conceptual models can be a useful tool to aid in the selection of Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs; see
section 1.3.3) for the detection and prediction of changes and trends in Arctic freshwater biodiversity.
To explore how Arctic freshwater communities may respond to ecosystem changes, it is necessary to
understand the structure and function of these communities at reference condition, i.e., in the absence of
or at very low levels of impact (e.g., generic food webs in Fig. 5). At the food web base are autotrophs and
detritus that are food sources for consumers at higher trophic levels. Autotrophs are primary producers
and may be represented by periphyton or macrophytes in rivers or lakes, and by lake phytoplankton.
Detritus may be composed of terrestrial plant litter and other decaying material/organisms. Herbivores
and detritivores are the primary consumers of the system; these groups may include benthic
macroinvertebrates and sh in rivers or lakes, and lake zooplankton. Predators may represent several
levels of consumers within a system, including the secondary consumers that eat detritivores and/or
herbivores and the tertiary consumers that eat secondary consumers (e.g., piscivorous sh). Predators
include benthic macroinvertebrates and sh in rivers or lakes, and additionally zooplankton in lakes.
Predators may also include terrestrial and avian predators that feed in rivers and lakes. In extreme Arctic
conditions, freshwater communities may be dominated by specialist species adapted to cold conditions
(i.e., cold-stenothermal species), and this may result in a more simplied food web. For example, there
may be fewer trophic levels of consumers due to a lack of piscivorous sh. These initial food web
conditions have implications for changes that may occur with the introduction of environmental or
anthropogenic stressors.
Figure 5. A generic food web diagram for a lake or river, indicating the basic trophic levels (boxes) and energy ow (arrows)
between those levels. See text for further explanation of each trophic level.
Predators
Terrestrial Litter Detritus
Microbes
Detritivores
Autotrophs
Herbivores
29
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Broad conceptual model
When dening a broad conceptual model of change in Arctic freshwaters, we chose to focus on the
possible eects of a warming climate and the environmental and anthropogenic stressors related
to such a thermal shift. Climate change is expected to aect Arctic rivers and lakes both directly and
indirectly. Direct impacts include global and regional changes in temperature, prevailing air currents
and precipitation. Indirect eects include shifts in physical and chemical regimes like hydrology,
sedimentation and nutrient enrichment. Although the global climate change predictions indicate a rise
in mean temperatures, changes to annual precipitation are expected to vary greatly among dierent
Arctic regions, with increases in some areas and decreases in others. This in turn will dictate changes in
local temperatures, hydrologic regimes, and run-o of solutes and particulate matter from catchments.
Despite the regional variation, global models indicate a rise in mean temperature and decrease in glacier
area and permafrost cover (Walsh et al. 2005, 2011). Variation in precipitation and local temperature also
determines the direction and speed of change occurring in the areal cover of permafrost and glaciers.
In addition to contributing to climate warming, human activity is expected to increase in the Arctic
as a result of changes to the climate regime. The changes in human activity could include increased
agriculture and land development, increased resource development, and a shift of human populations
northwards as land development increases. Each of these activities has the potential to aect freshwater
biodiversity by increasing nutrient and contaminant inputs to freshwater, altering overland ow, and
increasing water abstraction.
To portray the relationships between Arctic freshwater biodiversity and both climate change and human
activity, we have adapted a schematic diagram (Fig. 3, in Chapter 1) from Kappelle et al. (1999) and
Heino et al. (2009). Climate change and increased human activity aect biodiversity by changing the
characteristics of ecosystems and habitats and the viability, richness and distribution of species and
communities. Resultant loss of biodiversity may in turn accelerate climate change through ecosystem
eects (e.g., elevated CO2 or CH4 production due to increased decomposition). Further, reduced
biodiversity may have direct eects on available natural resources (availability of game and sheries, loss
of conservation values etc.) by reducing the temporal stability of ecosystem resources (cf. Schindler et al.
2010).
The following models represent simplied scenarios concerning the global changes that are
anticipated to occur in biodiversity and ecosystem production due to changes in temperature, nutrient
concentrations and anthropogenic land use.
Ice covered lake. Photo: Yui/Shutterstock.com
30
Temperature Change
The northward movement of eurythermic species will aect biodiversity at all scales from species
composition within rivers, lakes and ponds (alpha biodiversity) through to changes in regional faunal
assemblages (gamma biodiversity), with the overall adjustment depending on the relative rates of gain
and loss in eurythermic and stenothermic species (Vincent et al. 2011). For example, a rapid increase in
the abundances of eurythermic species and a slow loss of stenotherms will produce a pulsed increase
in gamma biodiversity that eventually settles at a new equilibrium dominated by eurythermal species
(Fig. 6a). In contrast, a more moderate dispersal rate by eurythermal species coupled with the rapid loss
of stenotherms will produce a pulsed decrease in gamma biodiversity that will also eventually settle at a
new equilibrium dominated by eurythermal species (Fig. 6b). An equilibrium dominated by eurythermal
species is reached more rapidly through a rapid increase in eurytherms coupled with a rapid decrease
in stenotherms (Fig. 6c). In contrast, a slow increase in eurytherms coupled with a slow decrease in
stenotherms will lead to a slow increase in gamma biodiversity that eventually will settle at a new
equilibrium dominated by eurytherms (Fig. 6d). The actual changes in species diversity will, therefore,
depend critically on the relative rates of change in eurythermal and stenothermic species, with the
responses pictured in Figure 6 representing expected possible types of responses. Where dispersal routes
do not exist (e.g., isolated high Arctic or high-altitude systems), the climate-driven loss of stenotherms
may not be compensated by eurythermic species invasion and an overall decline in gamma biodiversity
is expected. The eect is expected to predominate more among vertebrates whose dispersal patterns
rely on habitat connectivity. Avian range expansion associated with climate warming, however, may lead
to increased invertebrate diversity at local (alpha) and regional (gamma) scales via facilitation.
Figure 6. The hypothesized eects of rising mean water temperature on biodiversity (as total species number) of Arctic
freshwater ecosystems. The dynamic ux observed in gamma biodiversity will depend critically on the relative rates of the
change in species number of eurytherms and stenotherms from the baseline. A pulsed increase in gamma biodiversity (a)
results from the combination of high eurythermal invasion and establishment and low stenothermic loss with increasing
water temperature. A pulsed decrease in gamma biodiversity (b) results from the combination of low eurythermal invasion
and establishment and high stenothermic loss. Rapid increases (c) and slow increases (d) in species diversity occur,
respectively, with high eurythermal invasion and establishment coupled with high stenothermic loss or low eurythermal
invasion and establishment and low stenothermic loss as temperatures increase.
A B
C D
31
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Nutrient enrichment
The production of biomass is usually quite low in Arctic waters (with some exceptions) due to extreme
conditions and low levels of available nutrients. Melting of glaciers and loss of permafrost cover due
to a rise in mean air temperature is likely to increase the run-o of solutes (including nutrients) and
suspended solids from catchment area. Moreover, changes in sea bird and migratory bird populations
and nesting sites with warming may lead to additional nutrient inputs into river and lake systems.
Increased nutrient loading will enhance the primary production in freshwater ecosystems and
consequently elevate the production in higher levels of the food web as well (Wrona et al. 2006b, Wrona
et al. 2006d) (Fig. 7). Although the total production of biomass is increased, the species specialized in
exploiting scarce food resources will be lost and replaced by more generalist species.
Figure 7. Anticipated eects of increased erosion and nutrient leaching through loss of permafrost
and/or glacial melt on biomass production in Arctic freshwaters. See text for further explanation.
Red knots, a migratory shorebird, Norway. Photo: Peter Prokosch
32
Catchment resource development
Intense human impact on catchments
results in reduction of freshwater
biological production and biodiversity.
Despite developments in the
conservation and protection of water,
catchment resource development
such as mining and heavy industry is
likely to cause impairment of water
quality and environmental status at
least at the local scale. Production and
biodiversity may increase in the early
stages of development (i.e., with an
increase in nutrients and shifts to more
impact-tolerant taxa). However, as
development progresses, production
and biodiversity are ultimately reduced
as the ecosystem’s tolerance threshold
for increased erosion and loading of
nutrients and contaminants is exceeded
(Fig. 8). Production and biodiversity can
also be reduced, for example, due to
loss of littoral ora and fauna, restricted
species migration, and oligotrophication
(hydropower) or excessive harvesting
pressures on natural resources (sheries).
The conceptual models for temperature
changes, nutrient
enrichment and catchment
resource development
indicate that the impacts
of climate change and
increased human activity
will dier by trophic level
(i.e., primary producers or
consumers) and taxonomic
group. Although increased
species richness or
production may appear
to be a net benet of a
warming climate, this
increase comes at a loss
of specialized species,
many of which may not be
found outside these Arctic
regions. To fully capture the
impacts of changes to Arctic
freshwater ecosystems, the
conceptual models indicate
that a monitoring plan must incorporate measures of biodiversity and biomass across multiple species
and trophic levels.
Figure 8. Anticipated impact of intense natural resources exploitation on biomass
production in Arctic freshwaters.
Old oil rig in the Pechora Delta, Russa. Photo: Peter Prokosch
4. Selecting Focal Ecosystem Components,
Parameters, and Indicators
34
4.1 Process for Identifying and Selecting Focal Ecosystem Components,
Parameters, and Indicators
4.1.1 Background paper and workshop process
The Freshwater Plan is founded on ideas forwarded in a framework document (Culp et al. 2011a) and
work undertaken during two workshops. An inaugural workshop was conducted in Uppsala, Sweden
in November 2010 (Culp et al. 2011b), with a follow-up workshop held in Fredericton, New Brunswick,
Canada in October 2011. In addition to the Freshwater EMG Steering Group members, both workshops
included freshwater experts with a broad range of expertise, and contributors from all participating
countries.
In the rst workshop, participants identied the important elements (stressors, FECs, parameters and
indicators) of a pan-Arctic Freshwater monitoring plan. Each of the FECs and indicators was given a
rank of high, medium or low based on importance to ecosystem function and sensitivity to stressors,
sampling feasibility, and data availability. The mechanistic link between environmental or anthropogenic
stressors and FECs was identied through “Impact Hypotheses” (Culp et al. 2011b). These statements
outline the potential ways that various stressors might impact structural and functional aspects of biotic
communities. Information on available freshwater data for the focal elements was also summarized
during this workshop, and will be an important basis for the rst assessment of Arctic freshwaters.
Information on existing data will also help in selecting future monitoring sites.
During the second workshop, participants rened the lists of FECs, parameters and indices to produce
lists of freshwater elements to be considered for monitoring and assessment. This workshop was
primarily focused on developing a draft Freshwater Plan to be reviewed and completed by the
Freshwater EMG Steering Group.
4.1.2 Scoping process
The Freshwater Plan was developed by applying the scoping process piloted by the Marine EMG. This
process, which was intended to identify the important elements of Arctic freshwater systems, used
an ecosystem-based, adaptive management approach, after the concept of Adaptive Environmental
Assessment and Management (see details in Gill et al. 2011). This approach allowed workshop
participants to focus on issues relevant to Arctic freshwaters, and use those issues to determine the best
monitoring approach.
During the scoping process, participants were divided into lake and river breakout groups, and each
group suggested a wide variety of potential FECs (see Section 1.3.3) for lakes and rivers. To work towards
a nal subset of FECs, the initial list was qualied in terms of importance, feasibility, and availability
of data (see Culp et al. 2011b for full details of rankings and their justication). Importance referred to
whether the FEC was sensitive to environmental and anthropogenic stressors, and therefore likely to
contribute to assessing stressor eects. Feasibility described the logistical diculty and cost associated
with measuring the FEC (e.g., sample collection and processing). Finally, the availability of data was a
means for identifying gaps in spatial and temporal coverage within and among countries, and indicated
whether there were sucient data for use in a monitoring context. During the second workshop, these
FECs were further ranked in terms of immediate importance for an initial assessment of Arctic freshwater
condition and long-term importance for future monitoring eorts. This technique identied those FECs
that may be important for assessing the ecological eects of environmental and anthropogenic stressors,
but that may not have been feasible to include in existing monitoring programs (see Tables 14-17 in
Appendix B for the complete list of rankings and their justication). Those FECs that were ranked as
highly important for either immediate assessment or future monitoring were included in the nal FEC
list.
35
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
The identication of FECs focused discussions on environmental and anthropogenic stressors (e.g.,
climate change, contaminants, change in natural temperature regime, etc.) that have a primary inuence
on basic biotic components, processes or ecosystem services. A critical part of this process was the
development of impact hypotheses (see Section 1.3.3), as these predictive statements outline a cause-
eect framework regarding how these stressors are expected to aect FECs. Hypothesis development
facilitated the choice of variables that should be monitored as components of indices and/or metrics.
This process resulted in:
Clear monitoring objectives;
FECs that are ecologically pivotal or sensitive to changes in biodiversity;
Impact hypothesis statements regarding the relationship among important stressors and
ecosystem responses; and
Recommended variables for use in monitoring and as assessment indicators.
The Freshwater EMG developed separate lists of FECs and indicators for lakes and rivers. The lists
contained many of the same elements, but reected the dierences in these ecosystems.
4.1.3 Criteria for Selecting Parameters and Indicators
Through expert consultation during the workshops, the Freshwater EMG developed a list of parameters
and indicators for assessing biodiversity in Arctic freshwater systems. The initial list of parameters and
indicators was created using a set of criteria that built on those used by the Marine EMG (Gill et al. 2011),
including:
Sensitivity to environmental or
anthropogenic stressors;
Scientic validity and
relevance;
Sustainability and relevance in
a monitoring capacity;
Availability of targets and
thresholds; and
Practicality
Parameters and indicators that met
these criteria were listed for each
FEC. As with the FECs, the initial list
of parameters and indicators was
qualied in terms of importance and
feasibility (see Culp et al. 2011b).
Importance referred to whether the
parameter or indicator was likely to
contribute to assessing the eects of
environmental and anthropogenic stressors, and if it was important to incorporate into a monitoring
plan. Feasibility described the logistical diculty and cost associated with measuring the parameter. A
nal list of parameters and indicators was developed based on their ranked importance and feasibility for
monitoring.
The nal parameters and indicators were chosen for their widespread applicability across the pan-Arctic
region and the feasibility of their incorporation into Arctic freshwater monitoring. This suite of priority
parameters and indicators will be used for the assessment of the state of Arctic freshwater biodiversity,
and should be considered during the development of any future Arctic freshwater monitoring programs.
Lake on a mountain. Photo: My Good Images/Shutterstock.com
5. Coordinated Monitoring: Focal
Ecosystem Components, Stressors,
Impact Hypotheses, and Indicators
37
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
The Freshwater Plan provides a recommended suite of FECs and indicators for monitoring the status
and trends in biodiversity of Arctic lakes and rivers. An initial assessment will be undertaken during
2013-2016 with subsequent assessments every 5 years to correspond with the Marine Steering Group
reporting cycle (see Chapters 9 and 10). This chapter describes the recommended FECs and indicators
to be incorporated into the initial 2013-2016 assessment for lakes and rivers, as well as probable
environmental and anthropogenic stressors that can lead to biodiversity change. Detailed impact
hypotheses are described, with this suite of predictive statements outlining the potential inuence of
climate change and human activity on basic biotic components, processes or ecosystem services. The
development of detailed terms of reference and objectives statements for future assessments is beyond
the scope of this document, as these will need to be produced during implementation of the Freshwater
Plan.
5.1 Focal Ecosystem Components
From the list of potential FECs produced during the rst workshop (Culp et al. 2011b), expert consensus
determined the FECs listed in Table 1 to be practical measures of stress in Arctic freshwater ecosystems.
The chosen FECs are central to the functioning of an ecosystem and sensitive to potential stressors
(further details justifying the inclusion of FECs are provided in Appendix B). Reporting on the status and
trends in freshwater biodiversity will center on indicators of FEC condition as the impact hypotheses
are evaluated. Data for some FECs may not be available in existing Arctic monitoring databases, and the
initial assessment may need to consider a reduced FEC list that is based on data availability. Thus, the
rst assessment is expected to focus upon the most commonly monitored FECs from Table 1, namely
sh, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, phytoplankton or benthic algae, and most abiotic FECs. After
2016 this list should be adjusted based on the availability of data collected through ongoing monitoring
programs of the Arctic countries. Information on medium and low priority FECs for lakes and rivers (not
listed in Table 1) is included in Appendix B, as these FECs may be useful for application at regional scales,
or in future versions of the Freshwater Plan.
Table 1. Biotic and Abiotic Focal Ecosystem Components (FEC) selected for inclusion in Arctic freshwater monitoring and
assessments.
Focal Ecosystem Component Applicable Ecosystems
Biotic
Fish Lakes and rivers
Benthic invertebrates Lakes and rivers
Zooplankton Lakes
Benthic algae Lakes and rivers
Phytoplankton Lakes
Macrophytes Lakes
Riparian vegetation Rivers
Aquatic birds Lakes
Abiotic
Water temperature regime Lakes and rivers
Hydrologic and ice regimes Lakes and rivers
Water quality Lakes and rivers
Climatic regime Lakes and rivers
Permafrost Lakes and rivers
38
5.2 Environmental and Human Activity Stressors
The 15 stressors listed below were identied as most likely to have substantial inuence on the FECs
listed in Table 1 (the order of the list does not indicate the order of importance of the stressors). A brief
description of each environmental and anthropogenic stressor follows, with recognition that location-
specic inuence of any stressor will vary as a function of the intensity of its environmental signal or its
tendency to interact with other stressors. From this list, impact hypotheses were outlined to describe the
eects of each stressor on the priority FECs (section 5.3).
1. Atmospheric Deposition of Short and Long Range Contaminants: Addition of toxic stress to
Arctic freshwater ecosystems resulting in contaminant exposure and biomagnication.
2. Atmospheric Deposition of SOx and NOx (acidication): Direct modication of water chemistry
including decreased pH and calcium and increased release of aluminum.
3. Thermal Regime Change: Increasing Arctic temperatures that modify ice regimes and
cumulative thermal degree days in lakes and streams.
4. Hydrological Regime Change: Shifts in the seasonal pattern of precipitation and ice cover and
the resultant changes to freshwater habitat and seasonal disturbance.
5. Sediment Regime Change: Permafrost degradation and change in the hydrologic regime that
increases the intensity, magnitude and frequency of disturbance of freshwater habitat through
increased turbidity and shifts towards ner substrate composition.
6. Wind Regime Change: Shifts in wind force changes snow deposition and water circulation in
lakes resulting in habitat modication.
7. UV Radiation Regime Change: Increased exposure to UV radiation in shallow habitats of clear
lakes and streams.
8. Increased Nutrient Loading: Permafrost degradation and changes in hydrologic regime that lead
to higher input of organic matter and inorganic nutrients to aquatic systems.
9. Shift in Nutrient and Contaminant Levels Due to Biotic Vectors: The role that increased or
decreased population abundance of migratory species can have in determining the deposition
of nutrients and contaminants to aquatic ecosystems.
10. Fisheries Over-Harvesting: Changes in mortality, demographic characteristics, reduced
competition or loss of prey resources that result from unsustainable harvesting of sh stocks by
humans.
11. Resource Exploration and Exploitation: All stages and forms of resource extraction (e.g.,
hydrocarbon extraction, metal mining, water withdrawal) and their associated impacts such as
wastewater discharge, spills, habitat disturbance and ow regime disturbance.
12. Transportation and Utility Corridors: Increase in various types of human transportation
corridors including roads, powerlines and associated features such as culverts that can aect
environmental conditions including ow, nutrient and sediment regimes, and connectivity.
13. Flow Alteration: Modication of ow regimes and habitat fragmentation through the
construction of dams used for hydropower generation or stabilization of water supply.
14. Increased Agricultural Activity: The eects on aquatic habitats that result from various
agricultural activities such as farming and animal grazing.
15. Introduction of Alien Genetic Types: Modication of composition and native genetic structure of
aquatic biota through the introduction of new genotypes or invasive species (e.g., for culturing).
5.3 Impact Hypotheses for Lakes and Rivers
The expected response relationships of priority FECs to the stressors were divided into impacts from
environmental or regional human activity stressors (Tables 2 and 3; Culp et al. 2011b). Conceptual models
for specic responses of selected FECs may be derived from these prediction statements, and may apply
to several FECs. For example, permafrost degradation is expected to result in increased sediment loads
and turbidity of lakes (i.e., Sediment Regime Change), thus negatively aecting the light climate of lakes
(Table 2). Decreased light penetration is predicted to negatively aect algal biomass and photosynthesis
39
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
rates, and this will likely have implications for FECs at higher trophic levels. A similar change to the
sediment regime may aect rivers by causing a shift in substrate composition towards ne particles, and
increasing embeddedness (Table 2). As a result, the composition of the macroinvertebrate community
may change as taxa with a habitat preference for ne substrates and a tolerance for turbid conditions
begin to dominate. Among anthropogenic stressors, water withdrawal (as a form of resource exploration
and exploitation) was hypothesized to reduce lake water levels, causing shifts in the spatial area of the
littoral and macrophyte zone (Table 3). This loss or reduction of habitat may have implications for several
biotic FECs such as zooplankton, phytoplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, and sh, resulting in
reduced biomass and possible shifts in taxonomic composition. In rivers, water abstraction can alter the
ow regime, causing habitat fragmentation (Table 3). There may be particularly strong implications for
anadromous sh that rely on habitat connectivity to allow passage between marine and freshwater areas
for spawning.
The stressors may act in a cumulative manner, but we currently have limited understanding of multiple
stressor interactions or the ability to measure the resulting combined impacts of these interactions on
species and ecosystems. Thus, we have not attempted to describe all of the potential interactions among
stressors and the resultant impacts of these interactive eects as these relationships would be examined
in future reports of the state of Arctic freshwaters. Moreover, there may be additional impacts that are
specic to particular FECs and that are not explicitly noted in the impact hypotheses. As the availability
of data is determined for each FEC, it will become possible to explore specic conceptual models of
stressor-FEC relationships in more detail and determine which prediction statements are a priority for
future monitoring activities.
Sample collection in the Canadian Arctic. Photo: Joseph Culp
40
Table 2. List of environmental stressors and impact hypotheses and expected response relationships of focal ecosystem components of lakes and rivers.
Stressor Example impacts
Atmospheric deposition of short
and long range contaminants
Lake and River: Alteration of water chemistry increased uptake and biomagnication toxic stress at high trophic levels and human exposure,
selection for contaminant tolerant taxa
Atmospheric deposition of SOx
and NOx (acidication)
Lake and River: Alteration of water chemistry (decreased pH and calcium, released aluminum) increased uptake of aluminum, toxic stress, loss of
calcium-dependent taxa shift in community structure and productivity
Thermal regime change
Lake and River: Increased water temperature [Lake only: stratication (diurnal thermoclines)] changes in photosynthesis/respiration balance;
shifts in carbon sources, sinks, and availability; changes in sediment-water interactions changes in phenology, food availability and quality,
biomass and decomposition mass, decreases in cold stenotherms (algae, benthic macroinvertebrates, sh), range alteration for cold-intolerant taxa
increased competition, predation, parasites, and diseases from geographic range changes shift in community composition and functional
diversity, change in productivity
Hydrological regime change
Lake: Changes in precipitation, snowpack quantity, ice on/ice o increased/decreased lake levels, altered runo and terrestrial organic matter
inputs, increased Thermokarst processes (lake loss or formation) change in habitat (e.g., change in availability of overwintering habitat, shift
in littoral zone and macrophyte zone), increased nutrient availability, change in light regime shift in community composition and functional
diversity, change in productivity
River: Changes in precipitation, snowpack quantity, ice on/ice o increased/decreased ood magnitude, shift between thermodynamic and
dynamic breakup, altered connectance change in frequency of bed disturbance altered habitat through change in median particle size shift
in community composition and functional diversity, change in productivity
Lake and River: Changes in snowpack structure and quantity on lake/river ice altered thermal regime through change in insulation and light
regime altered habitat through change in light penetration and ice thickness shift in community composition and functional diversity, change
in productivity
Sediment regime change
Lake: Increased turbidity decreased light changes in photosynthesis/respiration balance shift in community composition and functional
diversity, change in productivity River: Increased turbidity, shift in substrate composition towards ne particles, increased embeddedness
decreased light, loss of substrate diversity, shifts in habitat and delta sedimentation processes changes in photosynthesis/respiration balance
shift in community composition and functional diversity, change in productivity
Increased nutrient loading
Lake: Nutrient enrichment increased nutrient availability and decreased light changes in food availability and quality shift in relative
importance of benthic and pelagic processes, microbial food web changes, shift in community composition and functional diversity, change in
productivity
River: Nutrient enrichment increased primary producer abundance shift in community composition and functional diversity, change in
productivity
Shift in nutrient and contaminant
levels due to biotic vectors
Lake and River: Increased populations of biota (e.g., migratory birds, salmon) altered deposition of nutrients and contaminants to water nutrient
enrichment and alteration of water chemistry increased primary producer abundance, increased uptake and biomagnication of contaminants
shift in community composition and functional diversity, change in productivity, toxic stress at high trophic levels and human exposure, selection
for contaminant tolerant taxa
Shift in UV radiation Lake: Increased UV increase in reactive oxygen species reduced UV-sensitive species and increased UV-tolerant species shift in species
composition and interactions (specic to small, shallow, and clear lakes)
Shift in wind action
Lake: Increase/decrease in wind force change in snow formation pattern (e.g. ice on/o, period of ice cover), increased/decreased water
circulation change in habitat and habitat accessibility, lake mixing, thermal regime, stratication shift in community structure and primary
productivity
41
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Table 3. List of regional human activity stressors and impact hypotheses describing expected response relationships of focal ecosystem components of lakes.
Stressor Example impacts
Fisheries over-harvesting Lake and River: Alters population structure/abundance potential for trophic cascades shifts in community composition and age/size structure,
selection against fast-growing genotypes in harvested populations
Resource exploration/
exploitation (e.g., hydrocarbon
extraction, metal mining, water
withdrawal)
Lake: Municipal discharge nutrient enrichment/eutrophication increased nutrient availability and decreased light changes in food availability
and quality shift in relative importance of benthic and pelagic processes, microbial food web changes, shift in community composition and
functional diversity, change in productivity
River: Municipal discharge nutrient enrichment increased algal abundance shift in community composition and functional diversity, change
in productivity
Lake: Water abstraction reduced water levels change in habitat (e.g., shift in littoral zone and macrophyte zone) shift in community
composition and functional diversity, change in productivity
River: Water abstraction altered ow regime habitat fragmentation (and oxygen stress) shift in community composition and functional
diversity, change in productivity
Lake and River: Increase in contaminants (including accidental spills) alteration of water chemistry increased uptake and biomagnication
toxic stress at high trophic levels and human exposure, selection for contaminant tolerant taxa
Lake and River: Salinization alteration of water chemistry and adjacent land areas (including river oodplains) shifts in community
composition, selection for saline-tolerant taxa
Transportation and utility
corridors
Lake and River: Altered overland ow regime increase in turbidity/sedimentation/contaminants (e.g., salt, oil) altered habitats (potential
degradation of spawning habitats), loss of diversity and species composition, selection for contaminant tolerant taxa
Lake and River: Increased access to formerly inaccessible areas increased harvesting and introduction of alien species altered population
structure/abundance potential for trophic cascades shifts in community composition and shift in age/size structure
River: Habitat fragmentation decreased connectivity obstruction for migratory sh, shift in community composition and functional
diversity, change in productivity
Flow alteration (e.g.,
hydropower, dams)
Lake: Habitat alteration altered lake levels change in habitat (e.g., shift in littoral zone and macrophyte zone) shift in community
composition and functional diversity, change in productivity
River: Habitat fragmentation decreased connectivity obstruction for migratory sh, shift in community composition and functional diversity,
change in productivity
Lake: Change in thermal/hydrological regime (dams) increased/decreased lake levels change in habitat (e.g., shift in littoral zone and
macrophyte zone) shift in community composition and functional diversity, change in productivity
River: Change in thermal / hydrological regime (dams) change in habitat (e.g., sedimentation) downstream (and upstream - change from lotic to
lentic system) shift in community composition and functional diversity, change in productivity, increased mortality rates in sh (turbines)
Lake and River: Change in wetland hydrological regime Alteration of habitat for migrating species Alteration of species migration pathways and
dispersal potential for trophic cascades shifts in community composition and age/size structure
Increased agricultural activity
(e.g., grazing domestic animals)
Lake and River: Nutrient enrichment, increased erosion, (both inorganic and organic materials), change in substrate diversity/composition altered
algal and moss abundance changes in photosynthesis/respiration balance shift in community composition and functional diversity, change in
productivity
Introduction of alien genetic
types (e.g., cultured organisms
and invasive species)
Lake and River: Interaction with native biota, replacement and altered genetic structure altered food webs, genetic makeup and tness shift in
community composition and functional diversity, change in productivity
42
5.4 Indicators for Lakes and Rivers
A list of biotic and abiotic parameters and indicators that have potential for monitoring and detecting
change in FECs of Arctic lakes and rivers was also developed (Culp et al. 2011b). Parameters and their
associated indicators were listed separately for each biotic and abiotic FEC (Tables 4 and 5). The biotic
parameters led to the estimation of indicators of structural, functional, and phenological changes.
The indicators of structural changes in FECs include taxon richness, diversity, and evenness, but also
the presence of new taxa. Functional indicators include feeding groups and ecological traits of taxa.
Phenological indicators quantify, for example, changes in the timing of emergence in insect populations,
and changes in the size/age structure of sh populations. Abiotic indicators focused on aspects of the
abiotic environment that might be important for biotic FECs, such as cumulative degree days and shifts
in discharge and the ice regime. Note that the data in the tables do not reect any order of priority.
Table 4. List of monitored parameters for each biotic Focal Ecosystem Component and the indicators/indices that can be
derived from those parameters for lake and river ecosystems.
FECs Monitored Parameter Indicators/Indices
Benthic
algae and
phytoplankton
Number of individuals or biomass
of each taxon
Community indices (e.g., abundance and density, taxonomic richness,
diversity and dominance, biomass and numbers of keystone taxa,
tolerance indices)
Numbers of red-listed (threatened) and rare taxa
Distribution and range (e.g., latitudinal and altitudinal)
Biomass (including chlorophyll a
and biovolume)
Bulk algal biomass
Size structure of entire population or of keystone taxon
Fish, benthic
macro-
invertebrates
and
zooplankton
Number of individuals or biomass
of each taxon
Community indices (e.g., abundance and density, taxonomic richness,
diversity and dominance, biomass and numbers of keystone taxa,
ecological traits, tolerance indices)
Numbers of red-listed (threatened) and rare taxa
Distribution and range (e.g., latitudinal and altitudinal, residency/
anadromy for sh)
Genotypes and alleles (sh) Genetic diversity
Biomass (including biovolume,
length, and body weight; gonad
weight in sh)
Size structure of entire population or of keystone taxon
Fecundity (for sh; e.g., gonadal-somatic index)
Age of individuals Age structure of entire population or of a keystone taxon; growth rates
(size at age or age at length (sh), or life cycle stage at length (benthic
macroinvertebrates)) and age at maturity (age combined with biomass)
Timing of important life history
events
Migratory phenology
Emergence timing
Reproductive timing (for sh; e.g., reproductive development rate,
reproductive periodicity)
Body burden of contaminants in
sh
Concentrations of contaminants in sh tissues above consumption
guidelines or above environmental thresholds for sub-lethal or lethal
eects
Macrophytes
and riparian
vegetation
Areal cover or number of
individuals of each taxon (as
feasible)
Community indices (e.g., abundance and density, taxonomic richness,
diversity, and dominance, numbers of keystone taxa)
Numbers of red-listed (threatened) and rare taxa
Distribution and range (e.g., latitudinal and altitudinal)
Aquatic birds
Number of individuals of each
taxon
Community indices (e.g., abundance and density, taxonomic richness,
diversity, and dominance, numbers of keystone taxa)
Numbers of red-listed (threatened) and rare taxa
Distribution and range (e.g., latitudinal and altitudinal)
Age (immature/adult) and sex of
individuals
Age structure of entire population or of a keystone taxon; number of
young/breeding pairs
Timing of important life history
events
Migratory phenology
43
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Table 5. List of monitored parameters for each abiotic Focal Ecosystem Component and the indicators/indices that can be
derived from those parameters for lake and river ecosystems.
Abiotic FECs Monitored Parameter Indicators/Indices
Water temperature
regime
• Water temperature (surface/prole
temperatures in lakes)
• Degree days
• Threshold temperatures
• Stratication pattern (lake)
• Proxy dates for ice on/ice o (river)
Hydrological and ice
regimes
• Surface water level
• Discharge (river or inow/outow of lake)
• Ice on/o, thickness
• Light transmission (lake)
• Change in timing of hydrological events
(e.g., nival/ice regime)
• Flood frequency/ duration
• Growing season (length and timing)
• Percent bottomfast ice and transparent ice
• Water balance (lake)
• Residence time (lake)
• Change in period of half ow (river)
Water quality
• Water chemistry (e.g., nutrients, trace
metals, DOC, colour, pH, alkalinity,
heavy metals, salinity, persistent organic
pollutants, turbidity, total suspended
solids (TSS), total dissolved solids (TDS),
river bed load)
• Secchi depth (lake)
• Dissolved oxygen
• Chemical variables (e.g., nutrients, trace
metals)
• Water clarity, photic zone depth (lake)
• Import/export (of organic material,
sediment, heat energy, etc. in river;
calculated with hydrologic regime)
Climatic regime
• Air temperature
• Precipitation (amount and type) and
relative humidity
• Wind speed/direction
• Solar radiation (UV, PAR)
• Degree days
• Threshold temperatures
• Surface water level (lake) or discharge
(river) (modeled from precipitation)
• UV/PAR attenuation (lake)
• Energy inputs (river)
Permafrost
• Active layer depth
• Temperature
• Slump area
• Change in active layer depth
• Temperature change
• Percent slumping
Arctic grayling. Photo: Pi-Lens/Shutterstock.com
6. Sampling Approach and Recommended
Protocols
45
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
6.1 Introduction
This chapter outlines the biotic and abiotic sampling approaches for lakes and rivers that are
recommended for a long-term monitoring program (for full details on sampling protocols, see Appendix
C). A common and feasible sampling approach that includes protocols and eld and laboratory
guidelines for comparable standardized sampling and analysis is required for the success of a pan-Arctic
monitoring program. Because Arctic countries have existing protocols established by national or regional
authorities, the methods outlined here were based on existing protocols wherever possible. Such a
foundation allows for the harmonization of diverse programs with minimal methodological changes, and
will facilitate the comparison of historical and new monitoring data.
It is equally important to dene the types of locations and habitats that should be sampled and the
spatial and temporal coverage that is necessary to develop a strong and cost-eective monitoring
program. General guidelines are provided within this chapter, however, more specic details about
the selection of monitoring sites and sampling frequencies will follow from trend assessments upon
implementation of the Freshwater Plan. During the start-up phase (2013-2016), incorporation of
common sampling approaches and designs will focus on the existing freshwater abiotic and biotic
monitoring programs of the Arctic countries. Concurrently, approaches used in non-Arctic regions,
including community-based citizen science, will be considered for inclusion after 2016. Monitoring
handbooks will be developed to assist implementation of the plan and ensure suitable and comparable
measures across the Arctic. Finally, the sampling of wetlands associated with lakes and rivers should
follow the protocols set out by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (details and protocols can be found
at www.ramsar.org).
6.1.1 Basic monitoring program
The pan-Arctic freshwater monitoring
program must provide a comprehensive
sampling plan that can be used for cross-
regional comparisons of priority FECs
and indicators, but that can feasibly be
incorporated into current monitoring
activities. To accomplish this goal, a basic
monitoring plan was created to describe
the optimal sampling design. The plan
outlines the FECs that should be included
in a monitoring program and provides
details on recommended protocols for
sampling each FEC. Three levels are used
to distinguish recommended protocols
based on their intensity and feasibility for
inclusion in a monitoring program (for full
details, see Appendix C). Level 1 protocols
indicate the minimal sampling requirements
to describe the FEC or indicator, and
should be included in a basic monitoring
program. The Level 2 protocols describe
the sampling requirements for additional
indicators or describe more advanced
sampling techniques for the basic indicators,
while Level 3 protocols are generally more
advanced and may only be feasible for a few
monitoring programs. Measuring samples from Canadian Arctic. Photo: Joseph Culp
46
6.1.2 Overall sampling strategy
Long-term monitoring programs should include sampling of the whole range of biotic and abiotic FECs
in lakes and rivers where possible to establish datasets that can be used to detect the impacts of a wide
range of stressors. However, hydrology, water chemistry, algae, zooplankton and macroinvertebrates, in
particular, will reect changes over shorter time periods (months) than longer-lived and less-abundant
organisms like shes, and as such, should be sampled more frequently in monitoring programs. In
addition, hydrology, water chemistry and lower-trophic-level organisms are all highly interdependent, so
it is recommended to make many of these measurements at the same time, as this will allow for a better
interpretation of spatio-temporal trends.
The most important aspects of a coordinated pan-Arctic monitoring program are:
Sampling the full range of habitats (e.g., littoral and pelagic zones in lakes, ries and pools
in rivers) that are important for the overall structure of the ecosystem and the function of
the food web. For lake systems, this may require sampling of both water column and benthic
communities, as both habitats are important for the overall structure of the ecosystem, and are
involved in the function of the food web.
Using xed sentinel sampling stations and protocols.
Prioritizing an intensive and continuous program running at fewer well-chosen sites to evaluate
temporal trends, rather than one that samples more sites less frequently to just evaluate spatial
trends.
Developing a network of abiotic and biotic measures from a diversity of lakes and rivers across
the pan-Arctic.
Abiotic data should be collected at multiple spatial scales if possible, and biotic data should encompass
multiple ecosystem levels. Examples at various ecosystem levels include the following, which are not
exhaustive or mutually exclusive:
Community level: occurrence, composition, relative abundance and size spectra of species
present, diversity/richness indices and trophic indices
Species level: distribution (geographical, ecological, and temporal), population structure, life
history patterns, and phenologies
Population level: abundance, biomass, distributions of key parameters (age, size), survival,
growth, reproductive potential, phenologies (such as matches/mismatches to critical events,
e.g., anadromy)
Individual level: habitat use, diets, developmental anomalies, growth (may not be as valuable as
other levels in a spatially broad monitoring program but is specically useful for characterizing
variation within a group (i.e., population) of interest).
To compare habitats and communities across regions, pan-Arctic monitoring eorts should be
standardized as far as possible in terms of gear, species, season, habitat types, sampling methods, and
analytical protocols. Multi-disciplinary sampling programs that collect data for a range of biotic and
abiotic FECs provide a cost-ecient way to maximize monitoring activities in Arctic rivers. Specic
standardized protocols for each biotic and abiotic FEC will be outlined in the following sections. General
information collected at a sampling site should include:
Geographical description of the area(s) and station(s)
Number of stations and their habitat type
Number of eld sub-samples taken
Type and size of sampler(s) used
Mesh size(s) of sampler and sample reduction or laboratory sorting sieves (invertebrates)
Date of sampling trip(s)
47
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
While it is important to include the complete suite of FECs in a monitoring program, this may not be
possible in remote areas where access is limited (e.g., no road access). Moreover, sampling protocols
may need to be modied to account for logistical constraints. In these cases, eorts should be made to
maximize sampling within the limitations imposed by the inaccessibility of the sampling area.
6.1.3 Sampling sites
The selection of lakes and rivers to sample should be based on:
Existing long term data or sporadic data sets of good quality, including data from existing
research stations and infrastructure
Coverage of all countries
Coverage of all 3 sub-regions (sub-, low and high Arctic)
Coverage of major water body types (ponds, lakes, springs, streams, rivers, and associated
wetlands)
Lowland and highland areas
Coverage of dierent types of catchments (e.g. diering in terms of size, geology, and other
characteristics)
Lakes with sh (open and land-locked) and shless lakes; rivers with migratory sh, rivers with
non-migratory sh, and rivers without sh
Suitability for remote sensing purposes
6.2 Lake Monitoring Approach
The majority of lakes on Earth lie in the Northern Hemisphere at higher latitudes. More than 60 percent
of the world’s lakes are found in Canada, but Finland is also known for its many lakes (i.e., The Land of the
Thousand Lakes), as are the coastal areas of Greenland that are not covered by icecaps. In the pan-Arctic
area within the CAFF boundary, there are 121,187 lakes according to the recent estimate in the Global
Lakes and Wetlands Database (Fig. 9) (Lehner and Döll 2004). However, this number should be viewed
as a minimum estimate since 10 ha was the smallest lake size included in the database and subsequent
validation of the database revealed that only lakes on the order of 100 ha and larger were condently
resolved. Further, the accuracy of this database varies by region with the largest underestimates in lakes
being found in the Scandinavian countries (Lehner and Döll 2004). Nonetheless, extraction of lakes from
this global dataset allows for general comparisons of the number of lakes and area of lakes occurring
throughout our focus region.
An assessment of limnicity (lake area per land area) shows Canada to have the largest lake area coverage,
followed by Sweden, Finland, and the United States, with Russia, Norway, and Iceland all having a
limnicity below 2% within the CAFF boundary (Table 6). Table 7 provides examples of lakes that have
been included in previous monitoring activities in each country, and that should be considered for
inclusion in future monitoring.
Identifying the appropriate sampling frequency involves balancing the costs of data collection and
analysis against the need for collecting comprehensive, high-quality data. Sampling at a higher
frequency provides more information and higher statistical power, but the costs are greater. The
objective is to make the sampling interval long enough to minimize sampling costs, but short enough
to ensure short-term variability is adequately understood (MacDonald et al. 2009). Sampling should
attempt to target all biological components and supportive chemical variables in the lake ecosystem that
can be expected to respond to the identied major pressures; however, the frequency of the sampling
schedule should dier among the dierent trophic levels to optimize man-power and other economical
resources. Stressor-specic conceptual models may be constructed to justify the inclusion of biotic and
abiotic variables in sampling.
48
Figure 9. Distribution of lakes within the CAFF boundary. Data from Lehner and Döll (2004).
Table 6. Lake number, lake area, land area by country and percentage of lake area of land area within the CAFF boundary.
Data from: Global Lakes and Wetlands Database (Lehner and Döll 2004).
Country Lake number Lake area (km2) Land area (km2) Percentage of land
area
Canada 82642 468431 5352594 8.8
Finland 495 3657 77452 4.7
Greenland 2937 9790 2144424 0.5
Iceland 493 1462 102243 1.4
Norway 1002 2881 153207 1.9
Russia 25986 100582 5423992 1.9
Sweden 879 6403 105016 6.1
United States 6753 29166 609149 4.1
49
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Figure 10. Examples of typical landscapes with ponds and lakes in the Arctic. A) a thermokarst lake landscape in Alaska, B)
lake in northern Finland (69N), C) lakes in Northern Quebec at around 55N, D) lake and pond at Disko Island, W. Greenland
(64N). Photos by Benjamin M. Jones (A), Milla Rautio (B) Sebastien Roy (C) and Kirsten S. Christoersen (D).
A
D
C
B
50
Table 7. List of known potential sampling stations that could be used in the CBMP-Freshwater Monitoring Plan. It should be
noted that this is only a suggestion based on present knowledge. See the references for source.
Region Name of lake/pond Latitude Data series
(start year)
Canada
Lake Hazen, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut 81N ~20+ years
Char Lake, Ellesmere Island 74N ~1970s
Old Crow Flats, Yukon Territory (~50 lakes) 68N 5 years (2007)
Wapusk National Park, Manitoba (30 lakes) 58N 4 years (2008)
Mackenzie Delta Lakes 68N ~25 years
Great Whale River region, Hudson bay 55N ~10 years
Greenland
Zackenberg. NE Greenland (2 lakes annually, 19
lakes every 5th year)
74N 15 years (1997)
Kobbeord , W Greenland (2 lakes) 64N 7 years (2005)
Disko, W Greenland (2 lakes) 69N 3 years (2000)
Iceland
Lake Ellidavatn 64N 22 years (1988)
Lake Myvatn 65N 33-110 years (1900)
Lake Mjoavatn 64N 20 years (1988)
Veidivotn 64N 25 years (1985)
Scandinavia & Svalbard
Norway:
Lake Nervatn (Salangen lake system) 68N 70+ years (1940)
Takvatnet 69N 30+ years (1979)
River Pasvik lake system 69N 20+ years (1990)
Norway/Svalbard (2 lakes):
Lake Linné 78N 40 years (1935)
Lake Diset 79N 38 years (1974)
Sweden:
66-68N 17-24 years (1988/1995)
Lake Latnajaure
Lake Abiskojaure
Lake Valkeajärvi
Lake Jutsajaure
Lake Pahajärvi
Lake Båtkåjaure
Lake Njalakjaure
Lake Louvvajaure
Finland (4 lakes) 68N-69N 16-46 years
Russia To be updated upon implementation
United States
Toolik Lake 68N 36 years (1975)
Toolik LTER 68N 36+ years
Fish Creek Lakes (6 lakes) 70N 2 years (2010)
Teshekpuk Lake 70N 5 years (2006)
Schrader/Peters Lakes 69N Sporadic (1960)
Barrow Ponds 71N 41 years (1971)
51
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
6.2.1 Recommendations for general sampling approach
Section 6.2 provides an overview of the general sampling approach for lakes. Full details on sampling
protocols for lakes can be found in Appendix C.
Periodic thermal stratication can occur in Arctic lakes provided there is adequate depth, but this is
more common in low- and sub-Arctic than in high-Arctic systems. Stratication aects both water
column chemistry and species distributions. Sampling at only one depth or only in the epilimnion
may be problematic due to a loss of information for indicators such as algal biomass, which is very
variable among depths and often at a maximum in transparent Arctic lakes below the thermocline. As
stratication is expected to change, the recommendation is to monitor the integrated water column
for biotic variables, combining samples from the epi- and hypolimnion. For abiotic variables that are
expected to dier within the water column, such as water chemistry, xed-depth sampling may be
necessary. During non-stratied conditions, however, a surface water sample may provide a good
estimate of whole-water-column chemistry.
The sampling location should cover the deepest part of the lake if known or alternatively at a mid-lake
position. Both water column abiotic and biotic samples are recommended to be collected from the total
integrated water column, with the exception of variables such as dissolved oxygen that require depth-
specic monitoring at one or more depths. An integrated water sample is composed of samples from
every meter for shallow lakes or at discrete depths (e.g. 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 m) from deeper lakes. Discrete
samples should be pooled to make one integrated sample. The total volume of the composite sample
should be a minimum of 25 liters, which may be mixed and sub-sampled if transportation limits sample
volume. In this way the information of, for example, total algal biomass can be captured in more reliable
way than from samples at only a few depths.
Because the thermocline often marks a transition in many variables (nutrients, chlorophyll a,
zooplankton, sh), care must be taken to identify such gradients and to collect samples at a higher
resolution if possible. Changes in stratication should, however, be monitored with thermistors. Water
from dierent depths should be well mixed, divided into smaller volumes and processed according
to protocols for each parameter, e.g., zooplankton should be concentrated with a 50 µm sieve and
preserved (e.g., with ethanol) to obtain a concentrated sample.
Major sampling eort should be
during the season of maximum
biomass and diversity, which
usually is in late summer or
after the autumn overturn (if
stratication was present).
However, an ideal sampling
strategy would also include
occasions earlier during the
open water season and once in
winter, during the maximum ice
thickness. Some of the problems
with stratication can also be
solved by timing sampling to
occur in late summer when
thermal stratication has broken
down. The recommended
frequency of sampling diers
across variables, and is specied
in the protocols for each FEC. Sampling zoobenthos in Lake Apmeljaure, Sweden, Photo: Erik Goedkoop
52
6.2.1.1 Supporting variables
An initial description of lake type, morphometry, size and catchment characteristics is important for
enhancing the characterization of lake systems and for understanding biotic and abiotic dierences in
FECs among and across regions. These attributes, which can be derived from Geographic Information
System (GIS) data, are considered to be static and re-sampling through a monitoring program is generally
not necessary. Depth is also a crucial factor for estimating a number of environmental conditions such
as whether or not the water column freezes solid and has the potential to overwinter sh populations,
whether light can penetrate to the bottom (during summer) and the potential for partial or complete
water column mixing. It is necessary to include depth for one or more locations of each dominant lake
type.
Data collection should follow the general guidelines:
Measurements of lake surface area, shoreline length, bathymetry, catchment area, slope,
elevation, surface geology, permafrost extent, land cover and vegetation cover in the catchment
derived from global GIS datasets.
If feasible, similar measurements could be based upon regional or local datasets to improve
accuracy.
6.2.2 Biotic FECs
6.2.2.1 Plankton
The water column biota can be surprisingly abundant and diverse despite the low productivity of Arctic
lakes. Although a number of growth strategies allow microbes as well as phyto- and zooplankton to
proliferate, these organisms are sensitive to changes in the environment and will respond rapidly to
climate changes. Sampling of water column biota should be carried out following international standards
with regard to choice of mesh size of nets and analytic procedures. In general:
Sampling will occur annually, with primary data collection in late summer as a minimum to
sample the system at a period of higher productivity and to match historical sampling. If
nancial resources allow, additional sampling could occur several times during the ice-free
season and once in the winter when ice thickness is at maximum (April-May).
Samples are preserved with 3% acid Lugol’s solution or 70% non-denatured ethanol for genetic
analysis.
6.2.2.2 Benthos
Substantial light reaching the bottom in most Arctic water bodies means that primary production is
possible both in the water column and at the bottom down to relatively large depths. The benthos,
primarily benthic diatoms, often contribute to a large fraction of the total autotrophic productivity
and biomass of these ecosystems, with increasing dominance towards the North. However, the spatial
dierences in primary production and biomass within a lake may be substantial and this should be taken
into account in sampling. Benthic invertebrate communities are also well-developed and abundant in
Arctic lakes. The lake littoral areas in the Arctic provide similar habitats for benthos to those of rivers.
The oxygen supply is rich and the detritus accumulation from terrestrial sources is insignicant. Many
riverine benthic insects may be found in lake littorals in the area. In the Arctic, insect larvae (especially
Chironomidae) constitute most of the macro-benthic fauna, and may provide the best monitoring/
assessment tool, although oligochaete worms, snails, mites, and turbellarians can also be quantitatively
important.
Benthic algae for taxonomic analysis are commonly collected from submersed stones in the littoral zone
of lakes or in rivers. Ideally samples are collected from at least 5–10 submersed stones of cobble- or larger
size. If stones are lacking at the site, core samples can be collected from soft substrates.
53
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Littoral samples of macroinvertebrates are commonly collected using kick-sampling methodology, in
which the bottom substratum at 0.5–1 m water depth is disturbed by foot movements and suspended
material is collected with a D-frame or rectangular hand net with a mesh size of 0.5 mm. In lake littoral
habitats, the disturbed suspended material, including invertebrates, is collected by active movements
of the hand net (kick-and-sweep method). Kick samples are primarily designed for stony substrata in
streams/rivers, but do also work relatively well on ner substrates and in lake littoral habitats.
Profundal macroinvertebrates are sampled using grab or core samplers (models vary nationally and
between research institutes). Samples are taken from sites with suitable soft substrates (mud, ne
sand etc.). Profundal samplers have xed sample surface areas, so they give quantitative estimates of
macroinvertebrate abundance. Samples are sieved using a sieve with approximately 0.5 mm mesh.
The sampling approach for benthos should follow these guidelines:
Sampling of benthic communities should occur annually. Benthic algal and invertebrate
community surveys should be completed during the most ecologically relevant season,
generally when biological diversity is highest. For many Arctic lakes this means August/
September or one month before ice cover, when the majority of taxa will be present and
the biomass is highest. To reduce costs and increase “data value”, sampling should be linked
with other programs (zooplankton, water chemistry etc.). The use of a common eld protocol
describing sampling depths, bottom substrata, etc. is recommended.
To ensure adequate spatial placement of samples, benthic algae should ideally be collected from
a known area of all major types of bottom material (sand, pebbles and stones) ranging from the
shallow littoral (0.5 m) to the deepest point of the lake (when possible), with multiple samples
collected along this depth gradient. However, in continuous monitoring this sampling design
may be too expensive, and sampling should minimally be conducted by collecting benthic
algae from the littoral zone. Invertebrates should be collected using individual area or time-
limited collections of benthic invertebrates (e.g., one grab, core, cylinder, quadrat, kick- or U-net
sample).
Field sieving of invertebrates should be done wherever possible, immediately after
sample retrieval and before preservation, as many organisms become fragile and brittle
after preservation. The general recommendation for nets and sieves for the collection of
macroinvertebrates is a mesh size of 500 μm. Although smaller mesh sizes can be used (e.g., 250
μm) to increase sampling of smaller invertebrates, many monitoring programs opt for 500 μm
mesh to reduce the costs associated with laboratory processing (i.e., sorting and identication
time).
6.2.2.3 Fish
The sh communities of Arctic, sub-Arctic and northern Alpine lake systems in North America, Europe
and Asia are dominated by salmonid sh, including the genera Salvelinus, Salmo, Onchorhynchus,
Thymallus and Coregonus, all comprising anadromous life-history forms, thus exploiting both lakes and
rivers. Salmonids reproduce in freshwater, but whereas Pacic and Atlantic salmon and brown trout may
spend several winters in saltwater, arctic char, grayling, whitesh and cisco overwinter in freshwater.
Other taxa using northern lake systems include smelt, eel, burbot, sculpin, northern pike and stickleback.
Land-locked/resident piscivorous and anadromous salmonids may grow very large and have thus
historically been harvested by traditional and more modern gear designed for catching large sh. These
sh are also of major importance to the subsistence sheries of northern peoples, anglers, and to local
tourism entrepreneurs.
High Arctic freshwaters are more or less synonymous with very low biodiversity and often contain only
one freshwater species (i.e., Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus)). This species may inhabit estuaries and rivers
in the summer, while overwintering in lakes for more than 10 months a year. Fish abundance in high
Arctic areas may be low, particularly the abundance of larger sh, suggesting that lethal sampling has
54
to be limited. Even though production is low, total sh biomass may be high because of high mean age.
For open systems that include salmonids, two strategies are present - anadromy or residency - where
the frequency/amount of anadromy may vary tremendously among lakes, as well as within lakes among
years. In lakes where sh have no access to the sea, i.e., land-locked systems, cannibalism among larger
sh is common. In both open and closed systems the catchability of large sh (anadromous sh and/or
cannibals) is high and they are vulnerable to being depleted even for scientic sampling.
The diversity of sh communities of most lakes forms gradients, with sub-populations occupying
dierent habitats and through dierent periods. Dierent size and age groups may occupy dierent
regions or depths of a lake in dierent seasons, while certain sections of running water (outlets)
may be used for reproduction, with most salmonids spawning in late autumn, and graylings and
smelts spawning in spring. The habitat segregation among and between species, possible species’
morphotypes, size and age groups should determine the best sampling approach. For example,
monitoring of anadromous arctic char re-entering lakes for overwintering might best be conducted
through the operation of a counting fence or traps at lake inows or subsistence shing statistics.
General sampling should follow the guidelines:
Standardization of species, gear, season, and habitat types to be monitored is required to allow
for inter-regional comparison of results. Net sampling should be conducted in late summer in up
to three habitats: littoral, profundal and pelagic zones.
Sampling of sh populations should preferably be done on an annual scale, but can be done in
intervals of 3 or 5 years, in long lived slow growing populations, for example.
Resident and landlocked sh, as well as juveniles, have to be sampled in the lake by use of
multiple-mesh-size gill netting of dierent habitats (littoral, profundal and pelagic zone) and by
electroshing for juvenile sh in the shallowest areas (littoral zone).
Fish may additionally be sampled in the outlets of the lake to gauge movements and estimate
population size of ascending sh prior to overwintering.
6.2.2.4 Macrophytes
Submerged, rooted oating-leaved, free-oating, and emergent vascular plants are all important for the
overall ecology of a lake and pond. The species distribution and abundance of vascular macrophytes
reect nutrient changes, hydrological regime shifts and climatic variability (e.g., temperature and light).
Exotic species may be introduced through bird migration, wind or most likely human activities.
Macrophytes are most important in sub-Arctic regions in shallow systems with soft bottoms. Their role
in most Arctic lakes as habitat for other biota (zooplankton, sh, etc.) is probably limited. However, with
projected landscape changes and higher terrestrial and aquatic production, the amount of organic
matter in all Arctic lakes is predicted to increase. This will provide more rooting ground for macrophytes
and may increase their importance in Arctic lakes. Thus, their monitoring over time may document
important shifts in biodiversity.
The macrophyte distribution and coverage should be sampled every few years (e.g., 3-5) along transects
covering the entire water body. The number of transects can be regulated to match the level of resources
available for sampling.
6.2.2.5 Aquatic birds
Birds make use of the aquatic habitat for feeding, breeding and protection from predators in small lakes
and wetlands, and their presence contributes to nutrient enrichment (through feces and feathers).
The accumulation of remains from the bird colonies (i.e., feathers and fecal droppings) can provide a
substantial input of nutrients to the near-lake areas that are in direct contact with the water body itself.
Thus, even fairly small bird assemblages may enrich the oligotrophic freshwater ecosystems. Since
abundance and diversity of migrant bird species are likely to change with climate change and be aected
by human activity, monitoring of these bird parameters will be important.
55
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Figure 11. Four years of temperature data for Teshekpuk Lake, northern Alaska, showing that both summer and winter
periods may vary between years. Source: Benjamin M Jones, U.S. University of Alaska Fairbanks, unpublished data.
Where feasible, the sampling approach could include as a minimum the number of birds and their time
of presence every few years (e.g., 3-5). The amount of historical data can be extensive, and community-
based monitoring can provide an exceptional opportunity to establish continuous monitoring of bird
populations via citizen science activities. Another possibility for remote areas is to establish an automatic
photo-based monitoring system that requires annual visits to download data.
6.2.3 Abiotic FECs
6.2.3.1 Water temperature regime
Water temperature directly impacts biological activity and chemical reactions. Lake thermal regimes are
dependent upon geographic location, climate conditions and hydrological characteristics and further
dependent upon individual lake characteristics such as surface area, depth, volume, direct surroundings,
and optical properties. These data can be obtained by manual measurements, thermistor and data
logger measurements, or with remotely sensed imagery (surface).
6.2.3.2 Hydrological and ice regimes
The hydrological regime of Arctic and sub-Arctic lakes is highly sensitive to climatic changes. Higher
evaporation rates can lead to gradual drying out of lakes. Increased precipitation can result in increased
erosion of shorelines, leading to rapid drainage. In thermokarst areas, thawing permafrost can also
lead to rapid drainage from increased groundwater outow and slumping of shorelines. Hydrological
processes will likely have large impacts on the biodiversity of lakes and ponds, and as a consequence, it is
recommended that hydroecological monitoring be incorporated into the monitoring plan.
Hydrological sampling in lakes should include measurement of lake levels and surface area. In addition,
water isotope tracers (δ18O– δ 2H isotopes) can be used to assess hydrological processes controlling
lake water balances. This can provide insights into the hydrological processes that inuence lake water
balances and explain patterns in biodiversity of lakes (Edwards et al. 2004, Turner et al. 2010, Yi et al.
2008).
56
The timing of lake ice phenological events (break-up and freeze-up) and trends in winter ice growth are
important indicators of changes in climate and potential shifts in lake ecosystems. The conditions of the
ice (e.g., black ice vs. milky ice) as well as the accumulation of snow on top of the ice are important for
the light transmission during the ice cover period. Ice on/ o timing and ice growth data can be obtained
by direct observation or with remotely sensed imagery on an annual basis. There is the potential for
community-based monitoring programs to be developed to collect data on aspects of the lake ice
regime.
6.2.3.3 Water quality
Water chemistry parameters are often key variables controlling the distribution of organisms in lakes,
and are needed to interpret monitoring results of biota. Recommended water chemistry parameters to
include in a pan-Arctic monitoring program include total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), dissolved
organic carbon (DOC), colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), pH, alkalinity, conductivity, major ions
(Ca, Mg, Na, K, SO4, Cl), total suspended solids (TSS) and dissolved oxygen.
On site measurements of water column chemistry using handheld probes, or by collecting a subsurface
water sample from an outlet point or from the shore should be done a number of times over the ice-
free season. If possible, winter sampling can be included at some sites as the length of winter periods
and temperature uctuations may vary among years (Fig. 11), potentially aecting some water quality
variables. Sampling for water chemistry parameters should be paired to coincide with biological
sampling trips.
6.2.3.4 Climatic regime
Since climate is the overriding
environmental factor aecting most bio-
geochemistry processes it is pivotal for
the understanding of the structure and
functioning of the freshwater ecosystems to
be able to describe the dynamics of climatic
parameters. The most important variables
are incoming light, temperature, wind and
precipitation.
6.2.3.5 Permafrost and active layer
Permafrost is ground that remains below
0°C for two years or more, and it impacts the
hydrology, geomorphology, and ecology
of northern high latitude regions. Changes
in the active layer (i.e., top soil layer that
thaws and refreezes annually) thickness
and thawing can impact lake systems by
altering soil storage capacity, ow paths
and surface drainage, and can lead to
catastrophic drainage and/or enlargement
of lakes. Thaw slumping along lake margins
has been shown to impact water chemistry
and water quality. Monitoring should
include measurement of permafrost extent
and active layer depth carried out by eld
surveys or remote sensing techniques.
Northern Canada. Photo: Christopher Kolaczan/Shutterstock.com
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ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
6.3 River Monitoring Approach
Lotic waterbodies are found throughout the pan-Arctic region, ranging in size from small headwater
streams to among the largest rivers in the world. The largest rivers of the Arctic include the Mackenzie
River in Canada, the Yukon River in Canada and Alaska, and the Kolyma, Lena, Yenisey, Ob, Pechora, and
Severnya Dvina Rivers in Russia (Fig. 12).
The Lena, Yenisey, and Ob Rivers in Russia are three of the largest rivers in the world. Together, the
catchments of the 6 largest rivers in the Russian Arctic cover approximately two-thirds of the Eurasian
Arctic region (Peterson et al. 2002). In contrast, much of the eastern Canadian Arctic is made up of smaller
river systems and catchments. Due to this diversity, it is necessary to include a range of catchment sizes
and stream orders in a pan-Arctic river monitoring program.
Table 8 lists some of the potential river sampling stations for each country, based on past monitoring
activities and availability of data. In many cases, these sites are large rivers or more accessible river
systems. Thus, although one focus of a pan-Arctic program should be to continue monitoring these
systems, emphasis should also be placed on ensuring that the plan incorporates a range of river sizes and
types.
Figure 12. Catchment area of the Arctic Ocean, showing the annual discharge (cubic kilometers) of major rivers (Source:
CAFFs Arctic Flora & Fauna – 2001. CAFF map number 21: http://library.arcticportal.org/1347/)
58
Table 8. List of known potential sampling stations that could be used in the CBMP-Freshwater Monitoring Plan. It should be
noted that this is only suggestion based on the present knowledge.
REGION NAME of river LATITUDE DATA series (start year)
Canada
Northern Québec (Makivik Corp.) 58N
Varied, depending on FEC
Mackenzie River (DFO, Environment Canada) – potential
site: lacking temporal aspect and spatial connectivity 55N – 70N
Torngats National Park rivers 58N
Nain, Labrador (DFO) 58N
Rivers/streams within National Park network 58N – 81N
Greenland
Zackenberg. NE Greenland (1 river) 74N
Disko, W Greenland (1 river) 69N
Narsaq, S. Greenland (1 river) 61N
Kangerlussuaq, W. Greenland 67N
Iceland Laxa River 65N
River Vesturdalsa 65N
Scandinavia &
Svalbard
Norway (Finnmark: 4 rivers including
River Tana; Troms: 1 river)
Norway/Svalbard (2 rivers)
70N (Finnmark) 100 years (1912)
Sweden:
65N-68N
(Chemistry)
Abiskojokki (national) 1982
Akkarjåkkå (national) 1995
Alep Uttjajåkkå (national) 1997
Kitkiöjoki (national) 2007
Muddusälven (national) 1984
Sangisälven (national) 1995
Viepsajåkkå (national) 2007
Bergmyrbäcken (national) 1995
Vapstälven (national) 2007
Torne River (national) 1969
Ylinen Kihlankijoki (regional) 1995
Rokån (regional) 1995
Hartijoki (regional) 2010
Finland (4 rivers) 67N-69N 39-49 years (1963)
Russia 6 largest rivers 60 years (1936; hydrology)
United States
Colville River 10 years (2002)
Kuparuk River 41 years (1971)
Fish Creek (National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska) 3 years (2009)
Wulik River 28 years (1984)
Sagivanariktok River 30 years (1982)
Putuligayuk River 42 years (1970)
Yukon River 37 years (1975)
Meade River 7 years (2005)
Kobuk River 36 years (1976)
59
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
6.3.1 Recommendations for general sampling approach
Section 6.3 provides an overview of the general sampling approach for rivers. Full details on sampling
protocols for rivers can be found in Appendix C.
River sampling should focus on sites that are already being used for national monitoring or research
programs in each country/region (see Table 8, Appendix D). Additional sites may be determined by
dening gaps in the existing stream monitoring programs in the pan-Arctic countries/regions such as in
high-Arctic Canada and Russia. An initial selection of available (and manageable) sites that include data
records for the biotic and abiotic FECs, combined with a rst assessment of the spatial and temporal
coverage of data for the FECs will make analysis possibilities and shortcomings visible, and will also
enable a rst overview of the additional data and stations required for future assessments.
Stream order (size) and river types, e.g., glacial/non-glacial should be considered when selecting new
monitoring sites. Ideally, a comprehensive pan-Arctic monitoring plan should include sites from a range
of stream orders and all possible river types (e.g., fed by glacier, snowmelt, spring, etc.). Focus areas may
dier depending on the stressor that is considered most important in a particular region (e.g., climate
change, pollution, habitat destruction, harvesting, alien species, etc.).
Within a chosen river, the reach that is selected for sampling should be composed of habitat types typical
for that river system to ensure a representative sample of biota is collected. For sh sampling, the study
sites should either be representative for the whole stream or should be good reproduction sites for
particular sh taxa of special interest. Sampling locations should preferably correspond to recording sites
for abiotic variables (e.g. weather stations, gauging stations) to maximize data collection.
6.3.1.1 Supporting variables
The size of rivers and their catchments are important for understanding biotic and abiotic dierences
in FECs among and across regions. These data are derived from global, regional, and local GIS datasets.
As these variables are considered to be static, resampling through a monitoring program is generally
not necessary. However, initial description of these supporting variables is necessary to enhance
characterization of lake systems.
Stream order and catchment characteristics such as slope, elevation, surcial geology, and groundcover
may have a large impact on biotic and abiotic processes within rivers, and may determine a number
of conditions such as whether the water column freezes solid. If possible, water source should be
determined for the stream or river in question, as the source may contribute to ow (in)stability and
thermal (in)stability.
Data collection should follow the general guidelines:
Measurements of stream order, catchment area, slope, elevation, surface geology, permafrost
extent, land cover and vegetation cover in the catchment derived from GIS datasets.
If feasible, similar measurements as above could be based upon regional or local datasets to
improve accuracy, as well as the determination of water source.
6.3.2 Biotic FECs
6.3.2.1 Benthic algae
The benthic algal community is taxonomically rich, forms the base of the aquatic food web and has
been shown to respond to changes in water quality. It is relatively simple to add benthic algal sampling
to a monitoring program, as sample collection and processing are uncomplicated, processing costs are
relatively low and benthic algae are ubiquitous. In addition, there are established protocols for sampling
and analyzing diatoms and chlorophyll a in several countries. To enable the comparison of benthic algal
60
samples throughout the Arctic, and at the same time to ensure that both biodiversity and biomass/
biovolume are captured even with restricted resources, sampling must follow the general guidelines:
Taxonomic identication of samples is essential for the assessment of change in community
indices.
Samples should be collected from the top of rocks/stones if available, as this is the focal
substrate in most existing protocols. If rocks or stones are not present, core samples can
be collected from soft substrates. Soft substrate sampling methods should be noted as
comparability between streams may be aected.
Sampling should occur annually, with primary data collection in late summer or early fall to t
peak abundance and diversity, and to be consistent with historical sampling.
If and when additional resources are available, sampling may be extended to a multi-habitat protocol
including macroalgae, because this approach best characterizes the benthic algae in the reach.
6.3.2.2 Benthic macroinvertebrates
Stream macroinvertebrates are
widely used for biomonitoring
(e.g., Hering et al. 2006,
Reynoldson et al. 2007, Rosenberg
and Resh 1993). Most stream
macroinvertebrate taxa have
a relatively short life cycle
which makes them suitable for
detecting environmental impacts
such as acidication, climate
change and hydromorphological
modications. On the other hand,
their life cycle is suciently long
so that their presence reveals
information about environmental
conditions during some time
prior to sampling. They are also
important food organisms for
sh. Depending on their ecology,
life history and the presence of
predators such as sh, aquatic
insect habitat use and occurrence
in the river may vary over time.
Non-insect taxa are permanent
inhabitants of the aquatic
environment, having limited
powers of dispersal compared to the insects that have an aerial adult stage in their life history. Currently,
macroinvertebrates are monitored in numerous lotic systems in the Arctic region and in some cases long
term data are available from these monitoring programs.
Dipterous insects are frequently the most abundant invertebrate group in Arctic streams, especially
in the high Arctic (e.g., Brittain et al. 2009), where the predominant taxa are often within the family
Chironomidae and Simuliidae (e.g., Friberg et al. 2001, Gislason et al. 2001, Lods-Crozet et al. 2001, Milner
1994). In the low Arctic and the sub-Arctic, as well as in the more continental regions at higher latitudes,
EPT taxa (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera), as well as other taxa such as gammarids,
oligochaetes and molluscs can be abundant (Brittain et al. 2001, 2009, Castella et al. 2001, Milner et al.
2001, 2005). The EPT taxa in particular are an important component of the evaluation of impacts, as
Sampling benthos via kick net, Torngat National Park in northern Laborador,
Canada. Photo: Daryl Halliwell
61
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
the response of single genera or species to environmental impacts is often documented and can be
developed into appropriate metrics (e.g., Fjellheim and Raddum 1990, Hering et al. 2004). The sampling
approach must ensure that representatives from all major taxonomic groups are collected from each
site, regardless of whether the site is dominated by Diptera or has abundant EPT taxa or other organisms
such as gammarids and molluscs. Benthic macroinvertebrate sampling in the Arctic should follow these
guidelines:
Sampling equipment should use a standard mesh size of 500 μm for the collection of
macroinvertebrates as this is commonly used in established monitoring programs.
Sampling frequency should be once during the ice free period, ideally late in this season. This
timing of sampling will avoid spring oods and will increase the chances of collecting insects
at later instars, at least in the high Arctic. In addition, it is recommended that sampling is
completed earlier in the season in the low- and the sub-Arctic to record early emerging taxa of
insects.
6.3.2.3 Fish
River systems in the Arctic, sub-Arctic and northern Alpine regions of North America, Europe and Asia are
dominated by salmonid sh. Other taxa utilizing northern rivers include smelts, eels, burbot, northern
pike and sticklebacks. Many of the diadromous sh populations have historically been harvested outside
river mouths, and along northern coasts. Land-locked char and other lake and river resident salmonids
without access to the sea are also of major importance to subsistence sheries by northern people and to
recreational shermen (anglers).
The sampling approach for sh in Arctic
rivers must take into account the variability
in diversity, age, and size structure within
dierent habitats. The diversity of sh
communities of many northern rivers
form gradients with allopatric populations
occupying the upper headwaters, and more
complex multispecies communities found
in the lower, coastal waters. In addition,
latitudinal gradients of sh diversity are
reected by the very low biodiversity of
high-Arctic rivers, which commonly contain
only one sh taxon, the Arctic char. Fish
abundance in high-Arctic rivers may also be
low, with the proportion of larger sh being
a critical structural component, indicating
that lethal removal has to be highly limited
for larger sh. In addition to a thermal
gradient and inter-specic interactions, depth
and velocity also determine sh diversity
and abundance, and dierent size and age
groups may occupy dierent parts of the
river during dierent seasons. Depending
on the availability of nancial resources,
monitoring of anadromous sh re-entering
large rivers in late summer and early autumn
would best be conducted through operation
of counting fence or traps in river mouths
or from subsistence shing with reliable
catch statistics. Upstream sections of smaller
Sockeye salmon, Russia. Photo: Maksimilian/Shutterstock.com
62
streams are best monitored by use of electroshing, benthic experimental gillnets designed for use in
streams, seine-nets, fyke trap nets and counting fences, although not all of these methods have been
utilized in Arctic running waters.
Monitoring of sh communities in Arctic rivers should target areas where background information
is available and areas where change is expected. In addition, the socio-economic importance of the
sh community/populations should be used as a criterion. For example, monitoring data from the
northern and southern limits of the Arctic char species complex could be analyzed to detect major shifts
in species range and distribution. In addition, demographic and phenological shifts in anadromous
sh assemblages may be evident through subsistence sheries activities in major Arctic rivers. When
available, the statistics from commercial harvests of anadromous arctic char, Atlantic and Pacic salmon,
brown trout and whitesh from individual rivers or restricted coastal regions should be collected and
used, especially when such datasets are geographically unique, long-term and of high quality, such as in
northern Labrador in Canada. For long-term monitoring purposes, however, use of non-lethal methods
such as counting fences in large rivers, and electroshing and seining smaller wadeable streams is ideal.
For electroshing and seining, the sampling approach should follow the guidelines:
Sampling eorts must be standardized by eort or area to allow cross-regional comparisons of
data.
Mesh size of dip nets or seine nets should be small enough to enable the collection of young-of-
year sh.
The timing of sampling should be linked to an understanding of the life history of the target
species. In ideal circumstances, sampling should be carried out towards the end of the season
when juveniles are of a suciently large size to be caught by electroshing. Subsequent
sampling should be carried out at the same time of the year, and under similar ow conditions.
All electroshing should be done in daylight hours. Sampling with seine nets can be done
during all hours, but is considered more successful when done during twilight and dark hours.
6.3.2.4 Riparian vegetation
Riparian vegetation physically stabilizes banks and acts as a chemical lter for rivers. In Arctic regions
below the treeline, shade provided by canopy cover aects water temperature and UV levels in the river,
inuencing the density and species composition of benthic algae, benthic macroinvertebrates, and sh.
A rough estimation of riparian vegetation is currently included as part of the biomonitoring protocol
for several regions (e.g., EA 2003, NVV 2006, Reynoldson et al. 2007); however, a more standardized
quantication of vegetation and canopy cover is recommended as part of the pan-Arctic monitoring
plan. The sampling of riparian vegetation should occur at all sites where sh, benthic macroinvertebrates,
and/or benthic algae are sampled, and should follow the general guidelines:
Riparian vegetation estimates should be made along the entire length of the reach when
possible, or at 10 regularly spaced intervals for large river systems;
For the area immediately bordering the river (0-5 m from river banks), riparian vegetation and
ground cover should be classied (taxonomic identication is recommended) and % cover
should be estimated;
A general classication of riparian vegetation and ground cover for the area 0-30 m from the
river banks is recommended, with quantication of % cover if time permits.
6.3.3 Abiotic FECs
6.3.3.1 Water temperature regime
Water temperature inuences community structure and function, and changes to the water temperature
regime can be used as an indicator of climate change and variability. Spot measurements of water
temperature and degree days provide baseline data to characterize a site, but continuous data from
loggers are essential for quantifying the water temperature regime within a system.
63
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
6.3.3.2 Hydrologic and ice regimes
The hydrologic regime is a primary environmental factor that denes the physico-chemical template
of Arctic rivers. Thus, hydrological data (discharge or water level) are required to quantify the natural
variability in discharge. Where possible, hydrological sample sites should be co-located on streams and
rivers having established water discharge monitoring stations and should ideally be monitored during
the entire ice-free season. Although ice on/o timing is also an important aspect of the hydrologic
regime in Arctic rivers, these data can be estimated from discharge and water temperature data if
necessary.
6.3.3.3 Water quality
Water chemistry parameters are often variables controlling the distribution of organisms and can reect
changes in activities within a contributing catchment. Snowmelt or rainfall runo samples may have
signicantly dierent chemical characteristics than base ow samples. The primary objective of the water
quality sampling should be to describe the base ow conditions.
Recommended water chemistry parameters to include in a pan-Arctic monitoring program include
total dissolved phosphorus (TDP), total unltered phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), nitrate (NO3),
dissolved organic carbon (DOC), colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM; often regulates transparency
of both visible light and potentially damaging UV radiation), pH, alkalinity, conductivity, major ions (Ca,
Mg, Na, K, SO4, Cl), total suspended solids (TSS) and dissolved oxygen.
Sampling for water chemistry parameters should be paired to coincide with biological sampling trips,
typically during base ow conditions.
6.3.3.4 Climatic regime
Climate is a major factor of bio-geochemical processes and is therefore pivotal for the understanding of
the structure and functioning of the freshwater ecosystems. Climate variables also provide a useful proxy
measure for water temperature when those data are not available. If no continuous water temperature
data are available, it is possible to use topographic information paired with air temperature data from
metrological stations as close to the sampling site as possible.
6.3.3.5 Permafrost and active layer
As previously described for lakes in Section 6.2.3.5, changes in active layer thickness and thawing of
permafrost can impact river systems by altering soil storage capacity, ow paths and surface drainage,
and can lead to catastrophic drainage and/or enlargement of lakes. Thaw slumping along river margins
has been shown to impact water chemistry and water quality (Kokelj et al. 2009). Monitoring should
include measurement of permafrost extent and active layer depth carried out by eld surveys or remote
sensing techniques.
Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010
64
7. Data Management Framework
65
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
7.1 Data Management Objectives for the CBMP
CAFF’s CBMP data management objectives are focused on the art of the possibledeveloping data-
management systems that facilitate improved access to existing and current biodiversity data and
integration of these data among disciplines, while maintaining the data holders’ ownership and control
of the data. The CBMP aims to create a publicly accessible, ecient, and transparent platform for
collecting and disseminating information on the status and trends in Arctic biodiversity. In essence, the
primary objective is to create linkages to data where it already resides. However, in instances where
this is too onerous, CBMP aims to provide alternative data management structures to host the data for
partners. This objective will be instrumental in achieving the Program’s mandate to report on trends in a
timely and compelling manner so as to enable eective policy responses.
It is expected that each country would still be responsible for supporting data management (e.g., QA/
QC of data and compilation of existing national datasets) and providing data from their individual
monitoring networks (i.e., the data holders). In contrast, the CBMP will focus eorts on building the
mechanisms to access and integrate these data across countries and networks, as well as promoting
a common, standardized data-management approach among the countries. For this approach to
be successful, it is imperative that appropriate national and sub-national datasets are identied
(metadatabases) and made available (interoperable linkages) to the CBMP.
Biodiversity data sources and formats vary widely across the Arctic. Thus, it will be challenging to
access, aggregate, and depict the immense, widely-distributed, and diverse amount of this freshwater
biodiversity data from the many contributors involved in this monitoring. A related challenge is to
integrate and correlate this information with other relevant data (e.g., physical, chemical, etc.) to
better understand the possible causes driving biodiversity trends at various scales (regional to global).
Furthermore, it is critical to deliver this information in eective and exible reporting formats to
facilitate decision-making at a variety of scales from local to international. Meeting these challenges will
signicantly improve policy and management decisions through better and timelier access to current,
accurate, and integrated information on biodiversity trends and their underlying causes at multiple
scales.
In some cases, especially for the higher trophic levels, biodiversity data and relevant abiotic data layers
are already available and can be integrated into the CBMPs Data Portal system (www.abds.is). However,
the task of aggregating, managing, and integrating data for the lower trophic levels is arduous, and
it may be some time before such information can be accessed readily via the CBMP Data Portal. The
establishment of national Freshwater Expert Networks (FEN) as dened in Section 10.1, and support
from each nation and the CAFF Data Manager will facilitate this process through the adoption of
common data and metadata standards and the development of common database structures.
The following sections provide an overview of the data-management framework to be used for
managing the outputs of the CBMP-Freshwater Plan. Such a framework is essential to ensure eective,
consistent, and long-term management of the data resulting from coordinated monitoring activities.
7.2 Purpose of Data Management
Eective and ecient data management is fundamental to the success of the CBMP and its monitoring
plans. A measure of success will be the ability to eectively connect individual partners, networks, and
indicator-development eorts into a coordinated data-management eort that facilitates data access
and eectively communicates Arctic biodiversity status and trends to a wide range of audiences and
stakeholders. Executed correctly, data management can fulll the following functions:
Quality Assurance: ensures that the source data sets and indicator development
methodologies are optimal and that data integrity is maintained throughout processing;
66
Consistency: encourages the use of common standards and consistent reference frames and
base data sets across parameters and networks;
Eciency: reduces duplicate eorts by sharing data, methodologies, analysis, and experience;
Sustainability: ensures archiving capability and ongoing indicator production;
Enhanced Communications: produces and distributes information through integrated web-
based services, making indicator methodologies accessible and providing source metadata;
Improved Linkages: ensures complementarities between various networks and partnerships
and with other related international initiatives, other indicator processes (national, regional, and
global), and global assessment processes (e.g., the Global Biodiversity Outlook and Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment); and
Enhanced Credibility: provides transparency with respect to methodologies, data sets, and
processes.
Implementation of the Freshwater Plan will rely on participation from many partners. An ecient and
user-friendly metadata and data management system will facilitate this collaboration, providing multiple
benets as outlined above. It will oer unique opportunities for monitoring networks to exchange data,
draw comparisons between data sets, and correlate biodiversity data with data derived from other
networks, using a common, web-based platform. A roadmap for data management, the CBMP Data
Management Strategy (Zöckler 2010 unpublished), has been developed to guide the management and
access of metadata and data among the CBMP networks.
7.3 Coordinated Data Management and Access: the CBMP Web-based
Data Portal (www.abds.is)
While a large amount of freshwater biodiversity information is produced by various networks in diverse
formats, much of it is inaccessible, not reported, or in user-unfriendly formats. New, web-based data
management tools and new computational techniques have provided an opportunity for innovative
approaches for the data management and integration that is critical for a complex, international initiative
such as the CBMP.
CAFF’s CBMP has developed a state-of-the-art data portal (www.abds.is), which is a simple, web-based
and geo-referenced information network that accesses and displays information on a common platform
to encourage data sharing over the Internet. The data portal represents a distributed data management
structure where data holders and publishers retain ownership, control, and responsibility for their data.
Such a system provides access to immediate and remotely distributed information on the location of
Arctic biological resources, population sizes, trends, and other indicators, including relevant abiotic
information. As well as providing a point for Arctic biodiversity information, the data portal provides a
simple approach for experts to share information through the web and allows for the integration and
analysis of multiple data sets.
The CBMP’s data portal requires the establishment of a series of data nodes, with each data node
representing a data type or discipline (e.g., caribou, shorebirds). Each data node will be established and
supported nationally, most likely through connections to the FEN that will be established in each country
(see Chapter 10 for details). The CAFF Data Manager will interact with the national nodes to ensure inter-
operability and data aggregation and will provide overall maintenance and management of the resulting
pan-Arctic aggregated data. Where appropriate, the CBMP will establish web-based data-entry interface
systems (web services) tailored to each data node/discipline, allowing researchers in each country to
enter their data on an annual or semi-annual basis (depending on the frequency of data collection) via
the Internet. This information will be aggregated, automatically populating a database established at
an organization of the national FEN’s choosing. The FEN leads will have overall administrative privileges
(password-controlled) to view, maintain, and edit the database. Each expert within a discipline group
will have access (via a password) to enter and maintain their own data. Each FEN will be responsible for
dening and implementing the analytical approaches to generating the indicators. The CBMP will work
67
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
with each FEN to establish analytical outputs, via the Data Portal, tailor-made for the data collected
and housed at the data node. Priority indicator data will be managed via the web portal whereas other
dataset compilations can be directly archived at the CAFF Secretariat or through an agreement with an
existing data center.
Users (e.g., scientists, decision-makers, and the public) will have password-controlled access to the data
outputs via the CBMP Data Portal. Users will be able to perform set analyses (dened by each FEN) on
the Portal, which will immediately access the most current data at the data node (using XML Internet
language) and display the output of the queried analysis. Much of the initial work in the implementation
phase of the CBMP-Freshwater Plan will involve aggregating existing data sets to create pan-Arctic data
layers. The life cycle of the data, from collection to presentation, is shown in Fig. 13.
The CBMP Data Portal will be exible, password driven, and customizable to serve a diversity of clients
(Fig. 14). The general public will have access to broad indicators and general information on Arctic
biodiversity data trends. National and sub-national governments as well as the national FENs will have
the opportunity to customize the Portal for their own purposes (e.g., display only the geographic scope
of relevance to them). Both governments and FENs will have the authority to choose which data layers
are publicly available. In addition, they will have a password-controlled domain to allow the inclusion of
other data layers that are not publically accessible (e.g., unpublished data or draft reports).
This model of operation allows for user involvement at a variety of stages and can accommodate a large
number of participants. The aim is to facilitate complete access to the collective knowledge, analysis, and
presentation tools available from the many participants and stakeholders both within and outside the
Arctic community.
The web-based portal will serve two purposes for the CBMP. First, it will provide access to geo-referenced
information from within partner networks, as well as providing a common platform with multiple entry
points for controlled data access, integration, harmonization, and delivery. Secondly, it will enable a wide
range of user groups to explore trends, synthesize data, and produce reports with relative ease. The web-
based data portal will generate indicators representing status and trend analyses, which in turn will be
reported by the CBMP through a variety of means. These could include turnkey web-based reports and
status and trends reports at multi-year intervals.
Figure 13. A simplied overview of the steps involved in accessing, integrating, analyzing, and presenting biodiversity
information via an interoperable web-based data portal and an indication of the responsibilities at each step.
Collection Aggregation Analysis and
Synthesis
Presentation
Monitoring
Networks and
Nations
Freshwater Expert
Networks
Freshwater Expert
Networks and
Portal
Data Portal
68
Development of this
distributed system will
necessitate the adoption and
use of existing and widely
accepted standards for data
storage and query protocols,
along with high-quality and
standardized metadata and
web servers (spatial and
tabular). The metadata will
be housed on an existing
meta-database system (Polar
Data Catalogue) allowing for
simple and ecient access to a
large and constantly updated,
web-based, searchable, geo-
referenced metadata system.
The Arctic freshwater monitoring identied as core to the implementation of the Freshwater Plan will be
input into this meta-database.
Geo-referencing will be critical to the successful integration of disparate data sets. Resolving the dierent
spatial recording schemes used between the various data nodes and data holders—as well as the
ranges of data volumes and bandwidth—will be challenges to overcome. Techniques will be devised to
convert data into a standard format for integration. These technical issues will be addressed during the
implementation phase.
7.4 Data Storage, Policy and Standards
A decentralized data storage system is proposed for the CBMP web portal because it oers a solution
to concerns over data ownership and copyright. Through this system, the storage, responsibility for and
ownership of the data will always remain with the data collector, publisher and/or holder. Although the
data are decentralized, access to and depiction of the data is unied, allowing for multiple integrations
for the user.
CAFF’s CBMP encourages data providers to comply with the Conservation Commons and IPY Data Policy
on the delivery of free biodiversity data to the public (see Appendix E for details on both these policies).
The web portal will allow for organized and restricted access to data where necessary. Compliance with
accepted data policies and provision of data to the CBMP Data Portal system will result in password
access being provided to the data layers found on the Data Portal. This incentive-driven approach should
encourage scientists and others to contribute their data to the Portal as it will result in their access to
other data layers relevant to them. Depending on the project and publication circumstances, the CBMP
suggests a delay of two to four years before information is released to the public, according to data type
and project history.
In order for the various networks involved in implementing the CBMP-Freshwater Plan to collaborate,
input, and share data and metadata, common data and metadata standards should be followed. CAFF’s
CBMP has chosen the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) standard to ensure compatibility
with many global and regional programs that have adopted this standard. Freely available software
allows users to apply these metadata conveniently and post them online with the clearinghouses (e.g.,
Polar Data Catalogue). Because data that lack metadata can be virtually unusable, both are crucial
requirements and thus requested by funding agencies and the data initiatives cited here.
Figure 14. Illustration depicting the Data Portal concept and how clients can
utilize the system to meet their specic needs.
8. Data, Samples, and Information
Analysis
70
8.1 Introduction
This chapter provides an overview of the analytical approach proposed for the assessment of data and
other information collected through the Freshwater Plan. Each assessment will have its own terms of
reference that identies specic analysis goals, objectives, and approaches in more detail. In general,
the analysis will focus on the FECs and indicators identied in Chapter 5, as these biotic variables were
determined to be important to freshwater ecosystem structure and function. Biomonitoring data will
be analyzed to evaluate spatial and temporal trends in Arctic freshwater biodiversity. In particular,
the analysis will address the questions described in section 1.4 of the FreshwaterPlan. Analysis of
biomonitoring data will also enable testing of the impact hypotheses outlined in Chapter 5 and lead to
recommendations for managers and decision makers. These assessments may be completed at multiple
spatial scales to address questions and test impact hypotheses at national, regional (e.g., Nordic), and
pan-Arctic levels. Moreover, data collection will include historical and contemporary data in addition to
future data collection to allow temporal analysis of biodiversity trends.
The Freshwater Plan assessments will be divided into two phases. The rst (start-up phase) will rely
on existing monitoring data from Arctic freshwater systems, and will be used to establish baseline
conditions for inclusion in an initial State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity report in 2016. Data collection
will be the responsibility of each member country. Where possible, sites will need to be classied as
reference or impacted prior to analysis. Contemporary and historical biotic and abiotic data will be
evaluated to determine the current status of the priority FECs and indicators and assess historical trends.
These analyses will help answer questions about the state of Arctic freshwater biodiversity, and will
establish the baseline for future assessments of change in these systems. Data quality assurance and
quality control through statistical data screening tools will be an essential part of the data collection
process in the initial analysis stage, and will be conducted by each member country.
The second phase of analysis will involve the future assessment of change in Arctic freshwaters through
the evaluation of coordinated biomonitoring data from the FreshwaterPlan. This analysis of changing
status and trends will be summarized in subsequent State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity reports that
will be completed on a regular basis (see Chapter 9 for more details on reporting). In this stage, the
collection of data and analysis of status and trends will be completed by the national FENs (see Chapter
10 for more details on the design of these networks). However, analytical procedures and approaches
will be designed and recommended by the CBMP FSG to maintain continuity and data quality among
the networks.
8.2 Basis for Analysis
8.2.1 Start-up phase (2013 -2016)
The start-up phase of analysis will be used to gather metadata and perform an initial assessment of
biodiversity in Arctic freshwater systems. The outcome of this phase will be the 2016 State of Arctic
Freshwater Biodiversity report. Data for this assessment will include both contemporary monitoring
data and historical data collected from each Arctic nation. Where possible, temporal assessments may
be completed by comparing historical and contemporary data, and by relating temporal changes to
the impact hypotheses. It is emphasized that the start-up phase will include data that would not be
expected to be collected in on-going monitoring programs, such as paleolimnological or historical data.
Determination of the current status of freshwater diversity in the Arctic, whether biodiversity is
changing, or if regional boundaries (e.g., sub-Arctic) are shifting will probably best be addressed
using a stratied sampling design combined with time-series analysis. It is emphasized that these
assessments will require a clear design for selecting sites along gradients where change is expected.
Recent approaches to metacommunity dynamics will also need to be incorporated into these analyses
(Logue et al. 2011). By including reference and impact sites, future assessments will be able to associate
71
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
changes in biodiversity with environmental and anthropogenic stressors. Assessment of whether
biodiversity status and trends can be measured by simple variables and indicators will require specic
assessments undertaken by national FENs and summarized by the CBMP Freshwater Steering Group.
8.2.1.1 Contemporary status (1945 to present)
For the purpose of the Freshwater Plan, contemporary status is dened as the conditions from 1945 to
the present (i.e., post-Second World War). In the start-up phase, existing data from this time period will be
used to establish the spatial extent of data coverage and evaluate the status of FECs through the analysis
of indicators. Comparison with historical data will provide an assessment of status changes and trends
that have occurred leading to the present day. Data from the contemporary period will also be used as
the baseline with which future monitoring data will be compared to evaluate changing status and trends
in the second phase of analysis.
Collection of metadata will reveal the full extent of the spatial and temporal gaps in contemporary
monitoring data that were indicated by Culp et al. (2011b). Specically, in reference to the monitoring
site selection criteria in Chapter 2, the metadata will indicate:
The FECs for which there are monitoring data;
The number of sites for which there are sucient data for analysis;
Geographical coverage of the sites, including the number of countries for which data exist in
each Arctic subregion;
Types of sites (e.g., large lakes, small ponds, large rivers, headwater streams, etc.);
Temporal coverage (including where there are repeated measurements in time, and the
coverage of those data).
8.2.1.2 Historical conditions
From 1850 to 1945 (post-Industrial)
Historical metadata from the post-Industrial period (1850-1945) will be less widely available than
contemporary data, and therefore will not allow temporal analysis of all FECs and sampling sites. In
addition, these data may be semi-quantitative in nature, and may be largely observational for some
regions, making statistical analysis of trends dicult. However, these data can still provide a useful, albeit
somewhat limited, picture of the historical status of biodiversity in Arctic freshwater systems.
Collection of metadata for this time period will reveal the extent to which historical comparison with
contemporary data are possible. In particular, these data will indicate:
The parameters for which there are monitoring data, potentially including biodiversity, food web
structure, temperature/inorganic nutrients, and ice/snow;
The number of sites and geographical coverage of sites for which there are sucient data for
analysis;
Temporal coverage (including where there are repeated measurements in time, and the
coverage of those data).
Paleolimnological Records (pre-Industrial; ~10000 yrs back in time)
Historical metadata from paleolimnological records will be used to evaluate pre-Industrial historical
trends. Because of the nature of paleolimnological analysis, records will only be available for a very
limited selection of the FECs. In addition, as paleolimnological studies are most often a part of research
programs rather than coordinated monitoring programs, data may not be available across the entire
spatial range of interest. However, paleolimnological data allow a more extensive temporal analysis than
post-Industrial or contemporary data, and can provide a strong assessment of long-term temporal trends
for those sites and FECs for which data exist.
72
Metadata collected from paleolimnological records will indicate:
The parameters for which there are data, potentially including biodiversity, community structure
(diatoms and chironomids, sh scales), temperature, pH, TP, and organic carbon;
The number of sites and geographical coverage of sites for which there are sucient data for
analysis.
8.2.2 Second phase (Beyond 2016)
The second phase of analysis will use data from future monitoring activities to complete periodic status
assessments of Arctic freshwater systems.
8.2.2.1 Future conditions (Present to 100 years from now)
Analysis of future conditions will make use of data collected through the coordinated monitoring
activities recommended by the Freshwater Plan. Following the monitoring protocols set out in the plan,
data for each FEC should be available over an extensive spatial area, building on the monitoring sites
that were used to establish contemporary status. Coordinated monitoring activities will allow for a more
detailed, specic, and continuous analysis of status and trends in biodiversity. Data collected through
future monitoring activities will be compared with the contemporary status to evaluate temporal trends
and identify any changes to indicator status. This assessment of trends will be further used to test the
impact hypotheses and make recommendations to managers and decision makers.
8.3 Analytical Approach
Assessments will use contemporary and historical data to detect temporal and spatial patterns in Arctic
freshwater biodiversity. Where possible, this analysis will be supplemented by associations with local
and traditional knowledge, although the CBMP-FSG will need to develop an approach for including
such information in status and trend assessments. In addition, the assessments will address the impact
hypotheses (Chapter 5) that link changes in biodiversity with human activities and environmental
change.
Assessment of biological and environmental data will utilize the following analysis tools:
Biomonitoring indicators and metrics, including indicator species and biodiversity metrics (see
Chapter 5 for a preliminary list);
Estimates of biological change through proxy measurements such as changes in temperature
and hydrological regimes and land use;
Multivariate analysis of community structure and associated environmental gradients;
Time-series analysis of biological and physico-chemical trends.
The spatial and temporal analysis of trends in Arctic freshwaters will be reviewed and rened during the
analysis process to ensure that the most appropriate techniques and parameters have been employed.
In particular, power analysis will be used to determine whether additional data are required to detect
biologically signicant trends.
Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010
73
9. Reporting
74
This chapter outlines the methods by which activities related to the Freshwater Plan will be reported.
These reports will include results of the data collection, as well as information on the creation,
development, and assessment of aspects of a coordinated monitoring plan. The audiences for this
information range from policy-makers to local community residents, and as such, several types of
reporting will be necessary. An initial State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report (to be completed
in 2016) will provide the baseline assessment of the state of freshwater systems in the Arctic, and will
act as a reference in time for the expected ecological change in Arctic freshwaters beyond 2016. This
assessment will build upon information from the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment. Regular assessment
reports will evaluate changes beyond the baseline conditions established in this initial report.
9.1 Audiences
Table 9 lists the target audiences to be addressed by each type of reporting (for more details on target
audiences, see the CAFF Communications Plan at http://ca.is/images/Meeting_Docs/Board_meetings/
CommsPlan_CAFF_Sept2011.pdf). Regular reports on scientic results and program performance will
be made to the Arctic Council and national and regional authorities that deal with biodiversity and/
or inland water issues. Program results are also relevant to local community residents in each Arctic
freshwater subregion, the scientic community (e.g., through peer-reviewed scientic publications),
non-government and other international organizations, other partners and collaborators. Furthermore,
information on the status and trends in biodiversity of Arctic freshwater ecosystems may also be used
by national governments and the Arctic Council to report to the Convention of Biological Diversity on
various 2020 targets.
9.2 Types and Timing of Reporting
Tables 9 and 10 list the types of reports and
reporting formats that will be used to summarize
activities related to the Freshwater Plan for
each audience. Reporting types include general
communications, performance reports for the plan
and chosen indicators, status reports, and scientic
publications. The frequency with which these
reports will be produced is presented in Table 10. In
part, the frequency and direction of these reports
depends upon the success of the initial assessment
of Arctic freshwater biodiversity and the results that
come from that assessment.
An initial State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity
Report will be completed in 2016, allowing
approximately three years to prepare this report
after the publication of the Freshwater Plan. This
report will provide an initial assessment of the
current state of Arctic freshwater ecosystems and
biodiversity with some assessment of historical
trends where possible. A subsequent status report
will be completed in 2020 to synchronize report
timing with the schedule for the Marine Steering
Group, followed by regular reports every 5 years.
These status reports will use monitoring data
obtained from the national FENs (Chapter 10) to
provide information on changes that have occurred
since the initial assessment and previous report. Arctic Canada. Photo: Marcel Clemens/Shutterstock.com
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ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Table 9. Overview of the type of reports that will be associated with the Freshwater Plan and the target audience for each report type.
Primary Target Audience
Type of Report
State of Arctic
Freshwater
Biodiversity Report,
including status
reports
Status of
selected
indicators
Review of indicator
performance, selection
of additional parameters,
new techniques, sampling
approaches, data
management approach,
analysis and reporting
Scientic output as
scientic publications,
either by discipline
or multidisciplinary,
by Arctic Freshwater
subregion and across the
Arctic
Performance
reports and
work plans
Various
summaries
and other
communications
material
Arctic Council X X X X
National and Regional Authorities X X X X
Local Communities X X X
Scientic Community X X
Other International Organizations X X X
Partners and Collaborators X X X X X
NGOs and the public X X X
Table 10. The timing and frequency with which each type of report will be produced.
Type of Reporting Timing/Frequency
Performance reports and work plans Annually, starting with a work plan in 2013
Scientic output as scientic publications, either by discipline or multidisciplinary, by
Arctic Freshwater subregion and across the Arctic Ongoing beginning in 2013
Various summaries and other communications material Ongoing, starting in 2014
Status of selected indicators Bi-annually, starting in 2016
State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report, including status reports 2016, 2020, and subsequently every 5 years
Review of indicator performance, selection of additional parameters, new techniques,
sampling approaches, data management approach, analysis and reporting 2016, 2020, and subsequently every 5 years
76
9.3 Reporting Results
9.3.1 State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report
The initial State of Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report is scheduled to be produced in 2016. The
objectives and terms of reference for the initial report will be developed during 2013-2015. It is
anticipated that the document may include several of the points listed below:
1. In addition to the criteria used to select freshwater ecosystems for monitoring assessment
(Section 2.1), further characterization of systems could follow a typology such as that used in the
EU Water Framework Directive (European Parliament and Council of the European Union 2000).
This typology, which divides lakes and rivers by size, depth (lakes), and the alkalinity of waters,
could be supplemented by information on specic Arctic water body types (e.g., thermokarst
systems, permanently frozen lakes). This approach could aid spatial comparisons of freshwater
biodiversity but may be limited to specic regional application given the lack of this type of
water body data for many regions across the Arctic;
2. The assessment will include statements on the indicator status of as many biotic and abiotic
FECs as is feasible. An outcome of this exercise will be the ability to update the focal areas
for sampling identied in Chapter 2. This revised list of focal monitoring areas may allow the
identication of habitats or regions with high freshwater biodiversity. These areas of rich
biodiversity could help identify habitat types of particular conservation value;
3. Where possible, reference conditions should be dened within and among the dierent
freshwater subregions (i.e., high, low, and sub-Arctic). This aspect of the assessment will likely be
limited to regional case studies given the limited amounts of data upon which the 2016 report
will be based; and
4. An eort will be made to evaluate temporal trends in the status of the biotic and abiotic FECs for
the limited locations where there is sucient historical data to undertake this assessment.
The results will be analyzed statistically to detect changes in the biodiversity and the physical and
chemical status of Arctic freshwaters. The report will also provide an analysis of the variability of the
various FECs and the statistical power to detect trends in the dataset. Results will be presented as
distribution maps, and graphs showing spatial and temporal trends for FECs and monitoring areas.
Additional reports are scheduled for 2020 and subsequently every 5 years, and will reevaluate the
status of biotic and abiotic FECs by analyzing any changes in indicators from the contemporary status
established in the previous reports.
9.3.2 Status of indicators
The status of selected indicators for biotic FECs (see Chapter 5) will be updated bi-annually and
published on the CBMP’s Data Portal (see Chapter 7).
9.3.3 Program review
Internal review and independent external review will be used to evaluate and adjust the monitoring
program periodically. Internal review will occur in 2016, 2020 and subsequently every 5 years, and will
involve the evaluation of chosen parameters and indicators, sampling methods, data management, and
analysis and reporting. The results of this review will be used to update the Freshwater Plan and make
any necessary adjustments to the outlined methodology. Every 10 years beginning in 2020, there will
be an additional independent external review of the program. The review process, although intended
to assess the performance of the program and identify any shortcomings, should be conservative to
provide statistically sound long-term measurements, and would ideally add to rather than remove
aspects of the program.
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ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
9.3.4 Scientic publications
Scientic publications will be used to share the results of the status reports with the scientic
community. Additional scientic publications are also expected to follow from the status assessments,
and may be specic to a particular FEC or sampling region, or may be multidisciplinary and/or
multiregional in scope. These articles are intended to address the links between changes to the biotic
and abiotic FECs and possible driving mechanisms at a broader or more detailed scale than may be
possible with the status reports.
9.3.5 Performance reports and work plans
Performance reports and work plans will be submitted to the Arctic Council through CAFF-CBMP on an
annual basis. The performance reports will detail the steps that have been made to implement the plan
in the previous year, and will outline the progress in managing the program. The work plans will outline
the work that is anticipated to be completed during the following year, the budget for that work, and the
deliverables. This process will begin with the submission of a work plan in 2013 following the publication
of the Freshwater Plan.
9.3.6 Summaries and other communications material
Summaries and non-technical communication material will be prepared for local community residents,
partners and collaborators, and non-scientic international organizations to make the results of the
status assessments and updates accessible to the general public. The CBMP will also use its existing
communications network and media (e.g., newsletter, media releases, websites, etc.) to provide regular
information on progress and results to these audiences.
Red Phalarope, Lena Delta, Russia. Photo: Peter Prokosch
10. Freshwater Implementation
and Administration
79
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Implementation of the Freshwater Plan requires a governing structure and process for program review
that will ensure this monitoring eort is relatively simple, cost-eective and addresses the questions
posed in Section 1.4. In addition to international bodies of the Arctic Council, other groups involved in
the implementation of the Freshwater Plan will include national, sub-national and local jurisdictions
across the Arctic that already undertake biodiversity monitoring. The implementation and review
structure described below incorporates the CBMP’s network-of-networks approach and aims to provide
value-added information on the state of Arctic freshwaters that is useful for national and other reporting
needs (Fig. 1). Ultimately, it will be the responsibility of each Arctic country to implement the Freshwater
Plan in order for the program to succeed.
10.1 Governing Structure
CAFF will establish a CBMP Freshwater Steering Group (CBMP-FSG) to implement, coordinate and track
progress of work undertaken in response to the Freshwater Plan, and to oversee the activity of the eight
national Freshwater Expert Networks (FENs) (Fig. 15; Appendix A). Composition of the CBMP-FSG will
include one representative and an alternate from each Arctic nation (i.e., Canada, Denmark-Greenland-
Faroes, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States of America). The CBMP-FSG will
be directed by co-leads drawn from these Arctic nation representatives. Permanent Participants may
participate depending on their capacity and interest, and may appoint two members to the CBMP-FSG.
Other relevant Arctic Council working groups (e.g., AMAP) may appoint one member each to the CBMP-
FSG.
Each national CBMP-FSG representative will be responsible for (1) facilitating implementation of the
monitoring plan within their own nation; (2) building strong and ongoing connections with the relevant
agencies, institutes and experts within their countries by coordinating and providing direction to their
national FEN members; (3) gathering information and reporting on the implementation status of the
plan within their respective nation to the CBMP-FSG; and (4) contributing to reporting to the CBMP
and CAFF. As a group, the CBMP-FSG will be responsible for setting the overall course of the evolving
monitoring program, providing ongoing program oversight and adjusting the implementation approach
as necessary. The CBMP-FSG will be responsible for reporting on the status of the monitoring plan to
CAFF and the CBMP Oce. A number of value-added services will be provided to the CBMP-FSG by the
CBMP Oce. These services include the establishment of a common web portal and web-based data
nodes, communication products and other reporting tools (Gill et al. 2011; Chapter 7).
It is the responsibility of each country representative to the CBMP-FSG to identify national experts
to be included in their FEN. Each national FEN will include the expertise required to assess the status
and trends of the FECs and indicators identied in Chapter 5. In addition, they will be responsible for
(1) identifying, aggregating, analyzing, and reporting on existing datasets to contribute to indicators
and assessments; (2) reporting on the implementation status of the monitoring program to the CBMP-
FSG; and (3) suggesting adjustments to the parameters, indicators and sampling schemes if needed.
Each member country will benet from the formation of its FEN as network activities will contribute to
domestic reporting mandates and needs. The CBMP-FSG may facilitate coordination and cooperation
among the various FENs as needed.
80
Figure 15. Governing structure for the implementation and ongoing operation of the CBMP Freshwater Integrated
Monitoring Plan. National Freshwater Expert Networks report their output to the CBMP Freshwater Steering Group, which in
turn organizes and coordinates reporting to the CBMP Oce and CAFF Board.
Arctic Council
CAFF
CBMP Oce
CBMP Freshwater Steering Group
•FEC analysis and reporting
•Internaitonal Synthesis
USA RussiaFinlandSwedenNorwayIceland
Greenland
Denmark
Canada
10.2 Program Review
The CBMP-FSG will initiate an internal review of the program beginning in 2016. A second review
will take place in 2020 and will be followed by regular internal reviews every 5 years to align with
the production of State of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity reports. The internal review will assess
progress towards the completion of program objectives (Table 11), with the goal of assessing indicator
performance, determining if additional parameters, techniques or sampling approaches are needed to
improve the program, and evaluating the approach to data management. The review will determine
if progress has been made in terms of answering questions related to the status and trends of Arctic
freshwater biodiversity. In addition, an external review of these aspects of the program is recommended
every 10 years with the rst external assessment anticipated for 2020. Changes recommended by either
internal or external reviews should be implemented with caution to ensure that recommended changes
to the monitoring plan do not compromise data integrity. Besides the formal reviews scheduled every 5
years, the CBMP-FSG should ensure that yearly milestones are met and that concerns identied during
the year are addressed in a timely fashion.
Wetlands. Photo: George Burba/Shutterstock.com
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ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Table 11. Program objectives and performance measures of the Freshwater Plan to be assessed every 6 years beginning in
2016.
Objective Performance Measure(s)
Identify an essential set of indicators for freshwater
ecosystems that are suited for measurement and
implementation on a circumpolar level.
Common indicators in use in three or more countries by
2016.
Identify abiotic parameters that are relevant to freshwater
biodiversity and require ongoing monitoring.
Relevant abiotic networks identied, and linkages made
between common biotic indicators and abiotic data (2013-
2016).
Identify standardized protocols and optimal sampling
strategies for Freshwater Plan monitoring.
Arctic-based monitoring networks adopt sampling
approaches (2013-2016).
Create a strategy for the use and organization of existing
research and operational monitoring capacity and
information (scientic, community-based, and TEK).
Identify monitoring groups and accumulate available data
for use in reports on the state of Arctic freshwaters (2013-
2016).
Establish and promote eective communication and
linkages among Arctic freshwater researchers and
monitoring groups.
Utilization of CBMP web portal and web-based data nodes
for CBMP-FSG reporting and communication outputs (2013-
2016).
Address current gaps in monitoring coverage (elemental,
spatial and temporal).
Identication of data gaps and solutions to broaden
monitoring coverage (2016).
Respond to identied science questions and user needs. Indicators developed and reported in state of Arctic
freshwaters report (2016).
10.3 Implementation Schedule and Budget
Table 12 lists the major milestones involved with the implementation of the Freshwater Plan. The CBMP-
FSG should use these as guidelines for outlining their annual work plans. These milestones include
the initial publishing of the plan, the activation of the governing structure and establishment of the
data portal, the collection and analysis of existing monitoring data and establishment of coordinated
monitoring, production of reports, and program review. A number of activities and deliverables are
associated with each milestone, and the start year for each activity or rst year in which the deliverable
will be produced is indicated to provide a timeline for this implementation plan.
The budget for the implementation of the Freshwater Plan reects the estimated costs for assessing
status and trends in Arctic freshwater biodiversity (Table 13). These estimates do not include current and
planned expenditures by each country to conduct their own Arctic freshwater biodiversity monitoring.
Similarly, costs for coordinating and holding in-country meetings with FEN members have not been
included because of the large dierences in cost anticipated among the countries. For an annual average
investment of $35-65K USD per country in 2013 and $65-125K USD per country per year in 2014-2016,
the value of current national monitoring eorts can be increased through a more coordinated, pan-
Arctic approach. The budget for 2017 and beyond will be developed at a later date when activities
and deliverables for ongoing assessment have been established. Even with an improved, harmonized
approach, critical gaps in our monitoring coverage will still remain and new resources will be needed
to address these gaps. Also, it is critical to acknowledge the ongoing need to sustain the monitoring
activities that the Freshwater Plan aims to harmonize.
82
Table 12. Implementation schedule for the Freshwater Plan, including activities, deliverables, and start year for each milestone
associated with the implementation of the plan. These activities will form the foundation of the annual work plans of the
CBMP-FSG.
Milestone Activities & Deliverables Start Year
1. Plan published a. Final plan endorsed by CAFF Board and published 2012
b. Executive Summary report published (if needed) 2013
2. Governing structure activated a. CBMP-FSG established 2013
b. National FENs established 2013
3. Data management
a. Data nodes and hosts, web-entry and data standards established
for each national FEN
2013
b. Nodes linked to portal and web portal analysis tools developed 2013
c. Metadata added to Polar Data Catalogue 2013
4. Indicator development
a. Existing data sets identied and aggregated 2013
b. Existing data sets analyzed to establish indicator baselines 2014
c. Indicators updated based on performance assessments
(annually)
2016
5. Establish coordinated monitoring in
each country
a. Recommended monitoring protocol manuals developed for
lakes and rivers
2014
b. Monitoring stations selected within each country 2015
c. Arctic-based monitoring networks adopt parameters and
sampling approaches
2016
6. Reporting
a. Annual performance reports and work plans 2013
b. State of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity report (initial
assessment of contemporary and historical data)
2016
c. Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Status reports (incorporating new
monitoring data) – 4 years after initial report (to align with Marine
Steering Group) and subsequently every 5 years
2020
d. Indicator Status reports – every 2 years 2016
e. Scientic publications (ongoing) 2013
f. General communications 2013
7. Program review
a. Review of parameters, sampling approaches, data mgmt
approach, analysis, and reporting (second review 4 years after
initial review and subsequently every 5 years)
2016
b. External independent review of parameters, sampling
approaches, data management approach, analysis, and reporting
(9 years after initial report and subsequently every 10 years)
2020
83
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
Table 13. The operating budget for the implementation of the Freshwater Plan, outlining estimated costs for the activities and deliverables, and the responsibility for each cost. Note:
the costs outlined in the table are focused on new eorts to harmonize freshwater biodiversity monitoring, data management and reporting. They do not reect the actual ongoing
monitoring costs.
Milestone Activities & Deliverables Total Cost (USD) Cost Details Responsibility
1. Governing and
operational structure
activated
a. 2013 Inaugural meeting of CBMP-FSG
b. Annual meeting of CBMP-FSG
50K (10 people at 5K each) plus
5K venue costs per year
Meeting costs (travel support for CBMP-
FSG members and venue costs) and
conference call costs
Arctic nations for
travel support for
their members. Lead
FSG country for
venue costs.
2. Data management
structures established
a. Data nodes and hosts, web-entry interfaces, and
data standards established
2013: 30K (data node
establishment)
2014 onwards: 10K per year (data
node management)
Web-entry interface and web-based
databases and nodes and data entry
manuals established
CAFF CBMP Oce
b. Data nodes linked to web portal and analytical
tools developed
2013 onwards: 20K (web portal
maintenance)
Data Portal linked to data nodes via XML,
and canned analysis tools developed
CAFF CBMP Oce
c. Metadata added to Polar Data Catalogue 2013 onwards: 0K (in-kind
support from PDC and CAFF Data
Manager)
Metadata entry by University of Laval
and CAFF Data Manager free of charge
CAFF CBMP Oce
3. Indicator
development
a. Identication of existing data sets and historical
data, collection of metadata, and spatial assessment
of data coverage for national report (Project 1)
2013-2014: 30-60K per country Costs for 1 person for 3-6 months per
country (depending on country).
Arctic nations
b. Aggregation of existing data, national and regional
dataset compilations, QA/QC, data agreements, and
formatting (Project 2)
2014-2015: 30-60K per year per
country
Costs will vary depending on state of
national datasets. Costs for 1 person
for 3-6 months per year per country
(depending on country).
Arctic nations
c. Analysis of indicator baseline status for each nation,
summarized in national report (Project 3)
2015-2016: 30-60K per year per
country
Costs for 1 person for 3-6 months
per year per country (depending on
country).
Arctic nations
d. Dataset compilations archived Minimal cost (10K). CAFF Data
manager sta time.
All datasets compiled and used to be
archived at CAFF Secretariat.
CAFF Secretariat
e. Accumulation of links to national/ regional
protocols, identication of intercalibration needs, and
denition of indicator comparison limits (Project 4)
2014-2015: 30K Costs for 1 person for 3 months. CBMP-FSG
Milestone Activities & Deliverables Total Cost (USD) Cost Details Responsibility
4. Reporting
a. Annual performance reports and work plans 0K per year starting in 2014 Performance report/work-plan layout
and digital publication
CBMP-FSG
b. Compilation of national reports to create State of
Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report
50K (10 people at 5K each) plus
5K venue costs per year
Meeting costs (travel support for CBMP-
FSG members and venue costs) and
conference call costs
Arctic nations for
travel support. Lead
FSG country for
venue costs.
5. Program Review and
adjustments
a. Review of parameters and sampling approaches.
b. Independent review of data management
approach, analysis, and reporting using performance
measures
0K – costs reected above
30K every ten years starting in
2016
Contract independent review of
Monitoring Program
CBMP-FSG
CBMP Oce
TOTALS
2013: 35-65K per country
2014-2016: 65-125K per year per
country
Iceland. Photo: Kári Fannar Lárusson
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12. Glossary of Acronyms
91
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
ABA - Arctic Biodiversity Assessment
ADCP - Acoustic Doppler Current Proler
ALISON - Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory
Network
AMAP - Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program
AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution
Radiometer
ASTER - Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission
and Reection Radiometer
CAFF - Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna
CALM - Circum-polar Active Layer Monitoring
CAVM Team - Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map
Team
CBD - Convention on Biological Diversity
CBMP - Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring
Program
CBMP-FSG - CBMP Freshwater Steering Group
CDOM - Colored dissolved organic matter
DFO - Department of Fisheries and Oceans
(Canada)
DOC - Dissolved organic carbon
EMG - Expert Monitoring Group
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency (USA)
EPT taxa - Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and
Trichoptera taxa
EU - European Union
FEC - Focal Ecosystem Component
FEN - Freshwater Expert Network
FGDC - Federal Geographic Data Committee
Freshwater EMG - Freshwater Expert Monitoring
Group
GBIF - Global Biological Information Facility
GCMD - Global Change Master Directory
GEO-BON - Group on Earth Observations
Biodiversity Observation Network
GEOSS - Global Earth Observation System of
Systems
GF/F - Glass lter ber
GIS - Geographic Information System
HDPE - High-density polyethylene
HPLC - High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
IPY - International Polar Year
Marine EMG - Marine Expert Monitoring Group
MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging
Spectroradiometer
NAWQA Program - National Water-Quality
Assessment Program (USGS)
NBII - National Biological Information Infrastructure
NGO - Non-governmental organization
NOx - Nitrogen oxide
NTU - Nephelometric Turbidity Unit
OBIS - Ocean Biogeographic Information System
ORNIS - Ornithological Information System
PAR - Photosynthetically active radiation
PDC - Polar Data Catalogue
QA/QC - Quality assurance/quality control
SAR - Synthetic Aperture Radar
SOx - Sulphur oxide
TDS - Total dissolved solids
TEK - Traditional Ecological Knowledge
TN - Total nitrogen
TP - Total phosphorus
TSP - Thermal State of Permafrost
TSS - Total suspended solids
USD - United States dollars
USGS - United States Geological Survey
UV - Ultraviolet
WG - Working Group
Appendix A.
Terms of Reference
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ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
I. Introduction
The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group of the Arctic Council has established
the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). Within the CBMP, the Freshwater Integrated
Monitoring Plan (The Freshwater Plan) for the circumpolar Arctic is intended to provide a framework for
the coordination of freshwater biodiversity monitoring and reporting eorts across the Arctic through
the use of existing monitoring capacity and information. The overall goal of the framework described
in the Freshwater Plan is to facilitate improvements in our ability to detect long-term change in the
composition, structure, and function of Arctic freshwater ecosystems and to understand the causes of
this change, as well as to develop reliable assessments of key elements of Arctic freshwater biodiversity.
The monitoring framework described in the Freshwater Plan integrates existing freshwater biodiversity
monitoring activities, utilizing both empirical scientic and community-based monitoring approaches.
The plan was developed and endorsed by eight Arctic nations (Canada, Denmark-Greenland-Faroes,
Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States of America), and involves a great number
of national, regional, Indigenous and academic organizations and agencies. Specically, the Freshwater
Plan is a framework that identies the following outcomes:
A prioritized suite of common biological parameters and indicators for monitoring Arctic
freshwater ecosystems;
Abiotic parameters that are relevant to freshwater biodiversity and that should be monitored;
Optimal sampling approaches describing where, when and how the suite of parameters is to be
measured, and who is responsible for monitoring;
Stressors that have the most important inuences on freshwater biodiversity; data for these
stressors will be used to assess anthropogenic and natural causes of change; and
A coordinated data management and reporting approach with specic timelines for indicator
updates and assessments.
The implementation of the Freshwater Plan will involve a number of jurisdictions (national, sub-national,
and local) across the Arctic that are already engaged in freshwater biodiversity monitoring. After a period
of implementation by the Arctic nations, involvement may be expanded to include non-Arctic nations
that are engaged in freshwater research and monitoring in the Arctic.
The challenge for CAFF and the CBMP is to develop a simple, yet eective, structure that ensures
eective implementation across Arctic nations, ongoing data integration, analysis and assessment, and
regular review of the monitoring plan. Output from freshwater assessments is designed to provide useful
information for governments and other decision-makers in the Arctic.
CAFF will establish a CBMP Freshwater Steering Group (CBMP-FSG) to coordinate and track the program,
and to oversee the activity of the eight national Freshwater Expert Networks (FENs). Each national FEN
will be responsible for networking and data analysis, interpretation, and reporting to the CBMP-FSG as
described below in Section IV. This includes cooperation with existing networks and working groups.
II. CBMP Freshwater Steering Group Goals
The CBMP-FSG shall coordinate the overall implementation of the Freshwater Plan. More specically the
CBMP-FSG shall:
Ensure eective communication among and between the implementing nations;
Coordinate and provide direction to the national FENs;
Facilitate input from the national FENs through the CBMP-FSG members from each country;
Facilitate and track the implementation of the Freshwater Plan and provide reports and
information from the monitoring activities to the CAFF-CBMP Oce.
94
III. Administration
A. Membership
The CBMP-FSG will be composed of one representative from each Arctic freshwater nation (Canada,
Denmark-Greenland-Faroes, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States of America)
appointed by the CAFF National Representative. Permanent Participants will be engaged depending
on their capacity and interest, and may appoint two members to the CBMP-FSG. Other relevant Arctic
Council working groups (e.g., AMAP) may appoint one member each to the CBMP-FSG.
Each CBMP-FSG representative will be responsible for:
1. Facilitating monitoring plan implementation within their own nation;
2. Building strong and ongoing connections with the relevant agencies, institutes and experts
within their countries by coordinating and providing direction to their national FEN members;
3. Gathering information and reporting on the implementation status of the plan within their
respective nation to the CBMP-FSG; and
4. Contributing to reporting to the CBMP and CAFF.
As a group, the CBMP-FSG will be responsible for setting the overall course of the evolving monitoring
program, providing ongoing program oversight and adjusting the implementation approach as
necessary. The CBMP-FSG will be responsible for reporting on the status of the monitoring plan to the
CBMP Secretariat and CAFF Management Board.
CBMP-FSG representatives will be expected to serve a term of at least three years. Membership can be
modied to add new members if deemed appropriate by the existing CBMP-FSG and sanctioned by the
CAFF Management Board.
CBMP-FSG members are expected to attend an annual meeting to review the status of monitoring
plan implementation, identify and resolve problems that have arisen and make adjustments to the
Freshwater Plan as necessary. Members are also expected to attend quarterly conference calls to review
implementation progress. The CBMP-FSG will call upon and meet directly with the Freshwater Expert
Networks as needed for development of the program and reports on the state of Arctic freshwater
biodiversity.
B. Leadership
The CBMP-FSG will be directed by co-leading countries. These co-leads will also be the representatives
to the CBMP-FSG for their respective countries. Co-leads will each serve terms of at least two years1 , with
the terms osetting so that co-leads would not begin or end their appointments in the same year. This
oset rotation will promote continuity in the operation of the CBMP-FSG.
The co-leading countries will be responsible for:
1. Convening, organizing and facilitating the annual CBMP-FSG meetings;
2. Organizing and participating in quarterly conference calls;
3. Communicating regularly with the CBMP oce;
4. Preparing and distributing materials prior to meetings;
5. Completing appropriate records of meetings and results of workshops;
6. Ensuring that meeting materials and records are provided to the CAFF Secretariat, CBMP oce,
and all members within 30 days of completed meetings;
7. Developing meeting agendas in consultation with other members; and
1. After the start-up phase (2013 to 2016) has concluded, the schedule and timeframe for chairing and leading the Freshwater
Steering Group will be revisited.
95
ARCTIC FRESHWATER BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PLAN
8. Working with CBMP-FSG members to produce the annual performance report and work plans
for submission to the CBMP Oce.
C. Coordination
The CBMP Secretariat Oce will be responsible for ensuring coordination (connectivity and
compatibility) between the CBMP-FSG and the implementation bodies for the other CBMP monitoring
plans. This will be accomplished as needed, and could include, for example, participation on scheduled
CBMP-FSG conference calls or conference calls between the CBMP Oce and other steering groups (e.g.,
Marine, Terrestrial).
D. Work plan
The CBMP-FSG will function as an expert forum to coordinate the implementation of the relevant parts
of the monitoring plan specic to the chosen parameters, sampling schemes, and indicators. It will work
to further rene the parameters, indicators, and sampling protocols during the start-up phase of the plan
from 2013-2016, and in the short-term, identify priority gaps, priority indicators, and existing datasets for
aggregation, analysis, and reporting that can support these priority indicators.
E. Decision-making
Decision-making within the CBMP-FSG is by consensus of the designated ocial representatives.
F. Expenses
Each nation is responsible for their own travel coordination and expenses to attend the CBMP-FSG
meetings. Lead countries will be responsible for hosting the quarterly conference calls and arranging
annual meetings. The CBMP-FSG is encouraged to rotate the location of annual meetings among the
member states to share the nancial burden of