Ecological characteristics of streams in the Barrenlands near Lac de Gras, NWT

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • We examined spatiotemporal variation in the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of pristine streams that represent a range of conditions near Lac de Gras in the Barrenlands region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Principal component analysis organized streams into four groups on the basis of seven physical characteristics. Despite broad differences among groups in physical characteristics, variation in chemical and biological characteristics was generally not large, with only pH and coarse particulate organic matter differing among the four groups. Nevertheless, several chemical and biological variables were correlated with physical characteristics, particularly measures of stream size (bankfull width and depth, drainage area, and stream discharge). Annual variability in climate affected stream temperature and discharge and influenced several biotic characteristics, particularly the growth of young-of-the-year arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus). Barrenland streams share basic characteristics of Alaskan tundra streams, as a result of similar climatic regimes. Key differences between the two areas, however, appear related to the lake-outlet nature of the Barrenland streams, which may contribute to higher growth of young-of-the-year arctic grayling than would be expected from regional climate.

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  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    © The Arctic Institute of North America
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • NE Jones, WM Tonn, GJ Scrimgeour and C Katopodis. "Ecological characteristics of streams in the Barrenlands near Lac de Gras, NWT." Arctic 56 (2003): 249-261.