The fish-based food web: when predator and prey connect.Author(s): Sally Duncan
Source: Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. April (13): 1-5
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionThis issue of "Science Findings" focuses on ecologist Mary Willson's research in Alaska that has revealed anadromous fish to be "cornerstone species." A cornerstone species provides a resource base to support much of an ecosystem. Anadromous fish, in this case, have been found support much of the Pacific coastal ecosystem. Key findings of Willson's team research are that the productivity of freshwater and riparian ecosystems is fueled by marine-derived nutrient subsidies from anadromous fishes. Many wildlife species depend seasonally on anadromous fish runs. In some cases predator species' reproductive biology is closely tied to the timing of fish runs.
Managers' understanding of the basic ecology of riparian areas with anadromous fish runs can help provide ecological sustainability and maintain cascading ecological function. A piecemeal approach is inadequate to address the tight links among fish populations, stream and riparian ecology, wildlife and wildlife habitat. Maintenance of the functional system and its nutrient transfer agents requires broad integrated management techniques.
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CitationDuncan, Sally. 1999. The fish-based food web: when predator and prey connect. Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. April (13): 1-5
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