Climate Change and Berry Variability
Climate change does not only affect wildlife, but it can also change the ecology of an area as well. Researchers are starting to look for ways to predict how climate change is affecting the berry harvest in Alaska. In addition to berries, researchers are also looking at caribou and other wildlife in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. As the behavior of wildlife changes, it affects the plant growth. Berry pickers should be knowledgeable about the changes occurring in their region. A study was conducted in 2015 that found Alaskan berries to have more variable harvests in recent years. The study can be found here for further reading:
N/A. 2016. Western Alaskan Forecast Calls for Scattered Berries and Partially Visible Moose. Available online: https://lccnetwork.org/news/western-alaskan-forecast-calls-scattered-berries-and-partially-visible-moose Link Accessed 9 Sept, 2016
Hupp, J. Brubaker, M. Wilkinson K. and Williamson, J. 2015. How are your berries? Perspectives of Alaska’s environmental managers on trends in wild berry abundance. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 10.3402/ijch.v74.28704
Berry yields are highly variable from year to year, location to location. Yields can fluctuate wildly because of frosts during flowering, lack of pollinators, poor weather, insect predation, and more. To study the effects of climate change will have to include all of these variables and more. It will take many decades to identify the difference between natural annual variability and long term trends due to climate change.