Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Journal Article

Fertilization of Terrestrial Vegetation by Spawning Pacific Salmon: The Role of Flooding and Predator Activity

M. Ben-David, T. A. Hanley and D. M. Schell
Oikos
Vol. 83, No. 1 (Oct., 1998), pp. 47-55
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3546545
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3546545
Page Count: 9

You can always find the topics here!

Topics: Salmon, Nitrogen, Predators, Plants, Streams, Vegetation, Isotopes, Fertilization, Cabbages, Marine ecology
Were these topics helpful?
See something inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

Cancel
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Fertilization of Terrestrial Vegetation by Spawning Pacific Salmon: The Role of Flooding and Predator Activity
Preview not available

Abstract

Spawning Pacific salmon (Onchorhynchus) transport marine-derived nutrients into streams and rivers. Subsequently, these marine-derived nutrients are incorporated into freshwater and terrestrial food webs through decomposition and predation. In this study, we investigated the influence of spawning Pacific salmon on terrestrial vegetation using stable isotope analysis. We hypothesized that terrestrial vegetation near streams or in areas with activity of piscivorous predators will show higher δ 15 N values compared with the same species growing elsewhere. The influence of spawning Pacific salmon as observed in elevated δ 15 N in terrestrial consumers was also investigated. Data collected from five species of plants in 18 transects from the stream to the upland forest (0 to 1000 m) indicated that a significant decrease in δ 15 N values occurred with increase in distance and relative elevation from the stream in three of the five plant species sampled. Values of δ 15 N in plants at sites actively used by piscivorous predators were higher than those of the same plants growing elsewhere, and similar to values measured near the stream. A decrease in values of δ 15 N and increase in values of δ 13 C in muscles of small mammals, with increase in distance from the stream, indicated that this signature was not a result of direct consumption of salmon carcasses but rather an indirect assimilation of marine-derived nitrogen through terrestrial vegetation. These results indicate that salmon carcasses contribute to the nitrogen pool available to riparian vegetation. The spatial distribution of the marine-derived nitrogen is apparently determined by flooding and the activity patterns of piscivorous predators. The importance of these nitrogen additions to the riparian zone, however, will depend on whether nitrogen is a limiting factor to plant growth in this system, and requires further investigation.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
47
    47
  • Thumbnail: Page 
48
    48
  • Thumbnail: Page 
49
    49
  • Thumbnail: Page 
50
    50
  • Thumbnail: Page 
51
    51
  • Thumbnail: Page 
52
    52
  • Thumbnail: Page 
53
    53
  • Thumbnail: Page 
54
    54
  • Thumbnail: Page 
55
    55
Part of Sustainability