IAB Research Project Description

Developing Ecological Escapement Goals for Pacific Salmon: Role of Marine-Derived Nutrients in the Health and Sustainability of Resident and Anadromous Fishes of the Yukon Drainage

Each year tons of marine-produced biomass enters freshwater systems in coastal Alaska when salmon migrate to their natal habitats to spawn. The effects of this biomass influx include transfer of MDN to plants and animals in freshwater and riparian ecosystems, resulting in increased densities, biomass and marine isotopic signatures of many species. But broader multi-species and ecosystem-level effects of marine subsidies remain poorly understood, particularly in large, complex river systems. These salmon-driven linkages may be crucial for sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem productivity, ultimately supporting populations responsible for this mass influx, as well as other animal and plant species. To better manage fishery and other resources and understand the roles of MDN in freshwater and riparian habitats, this project will begin to describe and construct predictive models that provide ecological escapement estimates which can be applied to multiple species, ecosystem-wide, at watershed scales.

Project Funding

U.S. Geological Survey
1 Oct 2005 – 1 Dec 2008
IAB Proposal #06-028
UAF Grant #G3009
IAB Project #146

Media Contact

Marie Thoms
Communications/Web Manager
Institute of Arctic Biology
302A Irving I
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
email: methoms@alaska.edu
phone: 907.474.7412