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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
Doing Business As Name:South Dakota State University
PD/PI:
  • A. Joshua Leffler
  • (605) 688-6024
  • joshua.leffler@sdstate.edu
Award Date:08/01/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 380,435
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 380,435
  • FY 2021=$380,435
Start Date:02/01/2022
End Date:01/31/2026
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.078
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Climate-induced sea-level rise, warming and herbivory effects on vegetation and greenhouse gas emission in coastal western Alaska
Federal Award ID Number:2113692
DUNS ID:929929743
Parent DUNS ID:929538999
Program:ANS-Arctic Natural Sciences
Program Officer:
  • Marc Stieglitz
  • (703) 292-4354
  • mstiegli@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:1015 Campanile Ave
City:Brookings
State:SD
ZIP:57007-0001
County:Brookings
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:South Dakota State University
Street:
City:
State:SD
ZIP:57007-0001
County:Brookings
Country:US
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

Arctic coastal wetlands are experiencing the effects of climate change, including warming temperatures, flooding from sea level rise, and changes to the number of geese that migrate in the summer and graze on local plants. The Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta of Alaska is one of the largest river deltas in the world and an important ecosystem for millions of migratory geese. This research looks at how warming, increased flooding, and changes in the impacts of geese will affect different plant communities and the uptake and release of greenhouse gases, which influence the rate of climate change. The investigators will conduct field experiments in different plant communities that will experience different levels of flooding, warming, and goose impacts, and measure plant and greenhouse gas responses to these changes. The investigators will also conduct laboratory experiments where the investigators can tightly control temperature, flooding, and effects of geese to better understand the mechanisms behind our measured field responses. This project expands our understanding because it will be conducted across both coastal and inland landscapes in the Y-K Delta, unlike previous research. The experiments will look at complex interactions between flooding, warming, and goose grazing to tease apart these three effects. The deep understanding provided from these experiments can also be applied to other ecosystems because many coastal regions in the Arctic are experiencing similar climate changes. The investigators will work with a school teacher to build learning modules based on this research that will be used in middle schools across native villages in the Y-K Delta. The researchers will work with local high school students at the research site to train them in field techniques as well as help them develop a story about the research for the local radio station. Finally, the investigators will train and mentor a post-doctoral researcher, two graduate students, and undergraduates at three universities, who will disseminate their findings through scientific conferences and publications. Arctic coastal wetlands are experiencing significant consequences of climate change, including increasing temperature, rising sea level, and changing waterfowl abundances. The Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta in Alaska, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is an important refuge for millions of migratory birds and one of the most vulnerable regions in North America to these changes. The overall goal of this proposal is to investigate how increasing temperature and flooding, in light of changing waterfowl abundances, interact to affect plant communities and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, specifically carbon dioxide and methane, across the Y-K Delta landscape. To address this goal, the investigators will conduct a large-scale field experiment, where they will manipulate temperature, flooding regimes, and goose impacts to quantify how these variables interact to influence plant communities and GHG fluxes. The investigators will use laboratory experiments to expand inference and understanding of the mechanisms behind the measured responses. The combination of these approaches will result in a greater understanding of what drives vegetation community dynamics and GHG emissions from this system. The proposed research addresses three gaps in knowledge: 1) This research expands our knowledge about GHG fluxes in the Y-K Delta by measuring the controls on GHGs in both coastal and inland plant communities; 2) The results will inform prediction of how climate-induced changes will interact to influence communities and GHG fluxes in the future; and 3) By improving understanding of the mechanisms that drive GHG fluxes across a gradient of conditions, the work will improve understanding of how GHG fluxes will be affected by climate change in other high-latitude coastal wetland systems. For broader impacts, the investigators will work with a local school teacher to build learning modules from our research to be used in middle schools across native villages in the Y-K Delta. The investigators will work with local high school students at the research site to train them in field techniques as well as help them develop a story about the research for the local radio station. The investigators will train and mentor a post-doctoral researcher, two graduate students, and undergraduates at three universities, who will disseminate their findings through scientific conferences and publications. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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