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    Coastal ecosystems (bays, inlets, lagoons and estuaries) are the first barrier on the pathway of the different chemical contaminants arising due to human activities at the neighbor lands and coastal waters. The high value of the biological and recreational resources of coastal ecosystems demands assessment of the possible damage from the chemical contamination. The traditional manner for such investigations is based on the measurement of the contaminants concentration in the different ecosystem components (water, suspended matter, bottom sediments, organisms) and evaluation of the harmful effects of these concentrations by the toxicological tests.

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    Ecosystem researches have been started in TINRO-Center early in 1980s. Up to now composition and marine communities in the Far Eastern Russian economic zone have been determined, allowing to estimate a place and role in them of commercially valuable species and to assess a bioproductivity of Russian Pacific waters on the whole.

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    Investigation in the Bering Sea were carried out by the Pacific Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (TINRO) from an ecological point of view. The composition, structure, interannual dynamics and function of the pelagic and demersal communities were studied on a macroecosystem scale. This work was primarily undertaken by the Laboratory of Applied Biocenology (I.e. ecology) and the Laboratory of Research of Plankton of Far-Eastern Seas. Ecosystem investigations were included as part of fishery research and were supported by a research vessel. The mission of the first expedition in 1983 was conducted until 1985, with pelagic surveys starting after 1986. Eleven expeditions have been completed.

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    Characteristics of the physical environment which vary over time scales from annual to decadal are examined in terms of their role in the ecosystem of the Bering Sea. The features examined are: solar activity, the lunar nodal cycle of the moon, atmospheric circulation, ice cover, transport from the Pacific Ocean and shelf circulation. The characteristics of the physical environment that are expected to respond to greenhouse gas-induced climate change are presented and their potential influence on the ecosystem discussed. We conclude by presenting a set of central issues and questions regarding how the Bering Sea functions.

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    The combination of a broad continental shelf, extensive winter ice coverage and convergence of nutrient-rich currents systems position the Bering Sea as one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. The Bering Sea is seasonal or year-round home to some of the largest marine mammal, bird, fish and invertebrate populations among the world's oceans and supports some of the world's largest commercial harvests of seafood, including groundfish, salmon and crab.

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    Data Type: Vegetation/Land Cover/Soils

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    Data on paper, catch of age in numbers 1985-1988 catch per unit efforts 1985-1988

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    This addresses the issues of modeling and marine ecosystems with a particular focus on the Bering Sea. It is divided into three sections. In the first, we attempt to lay a conceptual foundation for ways to think about ecosystems. Next, we describe three kinds of models (trophic, process, and conceptual) and how they have been used to gain various levels of insight about the Bering Sea ecosystem. Finally, we discuss the concept of ecosystem management as applied to the Bering Sea and how models of various kinds might help facilitate the process.

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    With animals like sea lions and sea otters in trouble, and salmon returns declining, marine scientists met recently in Anchorage to assess the health of Alaska's oceans. Alaska's seas are still cleaner than most, but just like other places, the oceans that nearly surround the state have their share of problems. As Doug Schneider reports in this week's Arctic Science Journeys Radio, one scientist says research on the ocean's smallest fish is needed to understand the big changes happening in the marine environment.

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    Time series of 25-50 years length have been located collected, collated, processed through 1995, including: wind data, air temperature, sea-surface temperature, weekly ice cover, seasonal sea ice index (Fig. 1) temperature and salinity profiles of the Bering Sea shelf* (Fig. 2) primary productivity data** sea-level pressure Southern Oscillation Index atmospheric forcing data*** Sitka air temperature distribution data for arrowtooth flounder**** distribution data for yellowfin sole**** distribution data for Pacific cod**** distribution data for walleye Pollock (age-1, age-2, age-3 and older)**** * To address the "cold pool" hypothesis (cold pool affects distribution of walleye Pollock), 5571 stations spanning the years 1966-1996 were assembled. The primary sources were the Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK; Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WA; Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University, Japan; National Oceanographic Data Center; and National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle, WA. Annual maps of bottom temperatures are available on the UAF web site. **We found that data sets of primary production and productivity exist only intermittently over the past 30 years. We will compare our biological and environmental data with the ongoing analysis by L. J. Miller and D. Eslinger (University of Alaska). They are conducting a comparison of satellite derived primary production with in situ measurements and we will examine how they relate to environmental factors (L. J. Miller, M. S. Thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks). ***daily estimates of cool season surface heat fluxes from National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) from 1946-present. ****Fish distribution data are from Benthic trawl surveys covering the eastern and central Bering Sea shelf from 1972 to the present. Each species contains 7,426 stations sampled during that time period.