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Effects of marine-derived nutrients on population dynamics of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)

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The effects of marine-derived nutrients (MDN) on the productivity of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) stocks in Alaska, USA, were examined through nitrogen stable isotope analysis of smolts and mathematical models of the sockeye stock–recruit relationship. Smolt 15N was used to infer the degree to which smolts depend on MDN for their growth. We found that characteristics of sockeye nursery lakes and watersheds significantly affected the availability of MDN to juvenile sockeye. The magnitude of escapement and water residence time were the most important factors affecting the MDN availability to juvenile salmon. Analysis of stock–recruit models indicated that regional environmental fluctuations had a large effect on stock productivities. However, stock–recruitment data showed little evidence that increasing MDN input to nursery lakes increased stock productivities. Stock–recruitment data may be poorly suited to detection of the influence of MDN because of the multitude of factors that influence juvenile survival in the first several years of their life.

Nous examinons les effets des nutriments d'origine marine (MDN) sur la productivité des stocks de saumons sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) en Alaska, É.-U., par l'analyse des ions stables d'azote chez les saumoneaux et l'utilisation de modèles mathématiques de la relation stock–recrutement chez les saumons sockeye. À l'aide des valeurs de 15N des saumoneaux, nous avons déduit dans quelle mesure les saumoneaux dépendent des MDN pour leur croissance. Les caractéristiques des lacs de nourricerie des saumons sockeye et des bassins versants affectent significativement la disponibilité des MDN aux jeunes saumons sockeye. L'importance de l'échappement et le temps de résidence de l'eau sont les facteurs les plus importants à affecter la disponibilité des MDN aux jeunes saumons. L'analyse des modèles de stock–recrutement indique que lesfluctuations régionales du milieu ont un important effet sur la productivité des stocks. Cependant les données de stock–recrutement donnent peu d'indications que l'augmentation de l'apport des MDN dans les lacs de nourricerie accroît la productivité des stocks. Les données de stock–recrutement peuvent être peu appropriées pour détecter l'influence des MDN à cause de la multitude de facteurs qui influencent la survie des jeunes durant plusieurs des premières années de leur vie.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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