Terrigenous fluxes of pollen, insect scale and land plant palynodebris observed by sediment traps deployed in the subarctic Pacific

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Hideto Tsutsui, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, Kozo Takahashi, Hokusei Gakuen University, Sapporo, Japan, Sarah J Fowell, Univ Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States, Kazumi Matsuoka, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan, Richard W Jordan, Yamagata Univ, Yamagata, Japan and Sumito Yamamoto, Japan Maritime Self-defense Forces, Tokyo, Japan
From 1990 to 2009, sediment traps in the subarctic Pacific (SA; 49°N, 174°W) were deployed and recovered during each summer, allowing the long-term observation of particle fluxes. As the Pacific Decadal Oscillation index changed in 1999 as air-temp cooled, this study focused on pollen, land plant debris and insect scale fluxes at SA during 1998 to 2006. The max pollen and fern spores flux was a mean of 74 grains m2 d-1, and the following details: 65% of the total pollen counts represented by wind-pollinated trees (e.g., alder, birch and pine), 24% by the herbaceous plants (as herbs), and 11% by fern spores. Spore, herbaceous and wind-pollinated tree pollen (as wind-pollen) fluxes peaked in May and Sep-Oct, but flux peaks of the latter also occurred in April and Jun. The annual flux peaks of insect scales (of unknown origin) and land-plant debris were in May and Sep, but over the entire study period the max insect scale flux of 161 was in Aug 2002, with a mean of 16 scales m2d-1, while the max (in Aug 2004) and mean land-plant debris fluxes were 107 and 10 plant fragments m2d-1, respectively. The sediment traps are situated both side of the Aleutian Is., where snow and ice occurs from Oct to May. The ice-snow season accounts for 25% of the total annual particle flux in SA trap, with 75% throughout the rest of the year. The correlation coefficient among pollen, insect scales and land plant debris are: 1) 0.58 (p<1%) between wind-pollen and insect scales, 2) 0.75 (p<5%) between herb-pollen and land plant debris, 3) but only 0.14 between insect scales and herbaceous pollen. Thus, the production location, residence time, route and mode of transport of the particles are important factors. Normally, the wind-pollinated tree flowering season in the northern part of Alaska and Japan where are an upper stream to the stations is from Apr to Jun, with the pollen usually transported across the ocean by winds. Assuming that the pollen takes several months to arrive SA, the wind speed and direction during the summer months also need to be considered. The debris needs about 1 month to sink to the trap water depth. Accordingly, the pollen transported to the trap area in Apr, Aug and Sep, when local wind speeds are 8 to 13 m s-1, are represented by the fluxes in May, Sep and Oct. In summary, the wind-pollen and insect scales in SA appear to be conveyed by wind over long distances.