Presenter Information

Janice Liang, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

As the economic, cultural, and ecological concerns grow for decreasing salmon populations, scientists and resource managers have been expanding our understanding of the ecological role of salmon and other anadromous fishes, which return from the sea to spawn in fresh water. Spawning salmon not only serve as a food source for species like bears and seals, but when they die after spawning (as all Pacific species and most Atlantic species do), their remains provide nutrients to freshwater systems, having significant impacts on the communities in the ecosystem. Given the heterogeneity in habitats, the ecological impact of nutrient inputs varies among habitats and with dispersal pathways. Some studies have supported the claim that nutrient inputs from salmon spawning leads to increased productivity and resultantly, an increase in salmon production. Algae and plants can take up salmon-derived nutrients, thereby feeding copepods that are then fed upon by juvenile salmon. One potential management plan to revive the wild salmon population is the release of hatchery salmon carcasses in a salmons natural spawning habitats. The deliberate distribution of hatchery salmon carcasses into watersheds for purposes of nutrification can have a positive ecological benefit to natural salmon stocks. This is exemplified in many case studies, and has been implemented in salmon hatcheries in the United States.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

300

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Ecological Role of Anadromous Salmon in Aquatic Ecosystems

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

As the economic, cultural, and ecological concerns grow for decreasing salmon populations, scientists and resource managers have been expanding our understanding of the ecological role of salmon and other anadromous fishes, which return from the sea to spawn in fresh water. Spawning salmon not only serve as a food source for species like bears and seals, but when they die after spawning (as all Pacific species and most Atlantic species do), their remains provide nutrients to freshwater systems, having significant impacts on the communities in the ecosystem. Given the heterogeneity in habitats, the ecological impact of nutrient inputs varies among habitats and with dispersal pathways. Some studies have supported the claim that nutrient inputs from salmon spawning leads to increased productivity and resultantly, an increase in salmon production. Algae and plants can take up salmon-derived nutrients, thereby feeding copepods that are then fed upon by juvenile salmon. One potential management plan to revive the wild salmon population is the release of hatchery salmon carcasses in a salmons natural spawning habitats. The deliberate distribution of hatchery salmon carcasses into watersheds for purposes of nutrification can have a positive ecological benefit to natural salmon stocks. This is exemplified in many case studies, and has been implemented in salmon hatcheries in the United States.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/192