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Food web perspectives and methods for riverine fish conservation

Author(s):

Sean M. Naman
Peter A. McHugh
Matthew J. Kaylor
Colden V Baxter
Robert J. Danehy
Robert J. Naiman
Amy L. Puls

Year:

2022

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Source:

WIREs Water. 9(4): 225-246.

Description

Food web analyses offer useful insights into understanding how species interactions, trophic relationships, and energy flow underpin important demographic parameters of fish populations such as survival, growth, and reproduction. However, the vast amount of food web literature and the diversity of approaches can be a deterrent to fisheries practitioners engaged in on-the-ground research, monitoring, or restoration. Incorporation of food web perspectives into contemporary fisheries management and conservation is especially rare in riverine systems, where approaches often focus more on the influence of physical habitat and water temperature on fish populations. In this review, we first discuss the importance of food webs in the context of several common fisheries management issues, including assessing carrying capacity, evaluating the effects of habitat change, examining species introductions or extinctions, considering bioaccumulation of toxins, and predicting the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors on riverine fishes. We then examine several relevant perspectives: basic food web description, metabolic models, trophic basis of production, mass-abundance network approaches, ecological stoichiometry, and mathematical modeling. Finally, we highlight several existing and emerging methodologies including diet and prey surveys, eDNA, stable isotopes, fatty acids, and community and network analysis. Although our emphasis and most examples are focused on salmonids in riverine environments, the concepts are easily generalizable to other freshwater fish taxa and ecosystems.

Citation

Naman, Sean M.; White, Seth M.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; McHugh, Peter A.; Kaylor, Matthew J.; Baxter, Colden V.; Danehy, Robert J.; Naiman, Robert J.; Puls, Amy L. 2022. Food web perspectives and methods for riverine fish conservation. WIREs Water. 9(4): 225-246. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1590.

Cited

Publication Notes

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/64601