Title: Resilience of Athabascan subsistence systems to interior Alaska's changing climate
Author: Kofinas, Gary P.; Chapin, F. Stuart III; BurnSilver, Shauna; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Fresco, Nancy L.; Kielland, Knut; Martin, Stephanie; Springsteen, Anna; Rupp, T. Scott;
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 40: 1347-1359
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Subsistence harvesting and wild food production by Athabascan peoples is part of an integrated social-ecological system of interior Alaska. We describe effects of recent trends and future climate change projections on the boreal ecosystem of interior Alaska and relate changes in ecosystem services to Athabascan subsistence. We focus primarily on moose, a keystone terrestrial subsistence resource of villages in that region. Although recent climate change has affected the boreal forest, moose, and Athabascan moose harvesting, a high dependence by village households on moose persists. An historical account of 20th century socioeconomic changes demonstrates that the vulnerability of Athabascan subsistence systems to climatic change has in some respects increased while at the same time has improved aspects of village resilience. In the face of future climate and socioeconomic changes, communities have limited but potentially effective mitigation and adaptation opportunities. The extent to which residents can realize those opportunities depends on the responsiveness of formal and informal institutions to local needs. For example, increases in Alaska's urban population coupled with climate-induced habitat shifts may increase hunting conflicts in low-moose years. This problem could be mitigated through adaptive co-management strategies that project future moose densities and redirect urban hunters to areas of lower conflict.
Keywords: subsistence, social-ecological systems, adaptive management
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
XML: View XML
Kofinas, Gary P.; Chapin, F. Stuart, III; BurnSilver, Shauna; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Fresco, Nancy L.; Kielland, Knut; Martin, Stephanie; Springsteen, Anna; Rupp, T. Scott. 2010. Resilience of Athabascan subsistence systems to interior Alaska's changing climate. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 40: 1347-1359.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility