Evidence for competitive dominance of Pink salmon ( Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) over other Salmonids in the North Pacific Ocean
First Online: 08 June 2005 Accepted: 11 November 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Ruggerone, G.T. & Nielsen, J.L. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries (2004) 14: 371. doi:10.1007/s11160-004-6927-0 Abstract
Relatively little is known about fish species interactions in offshore areas of the world’s oceans because adequate experimental controls are typically unavailable in such vast areas. However, pink salmon (
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) are numerous and have an alternating-year pattern of abundance that provides a natural experimental control to test for interspecific competition in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. Since a number of studies have recently examined pink salmon interactions with other salmon, we reviewed them in an effort to describe patterns of interaction over broad regions of the ocean. Research consistently indicated that pink salmon significantly altered prey abundance of other salmon species (e.g., zooplankton, squid), leading to altered diet, reduced total prey consumption and growth, delayed maturation, and reduced survival, depending on species and locale. Reduced survival was observed in chum salmon ( O. keta) and Chinook salmon ( O. tshawytscha) originating from Puget Sound and in Bristol Bay sockeye salmon ( O. nerka). Growth of pink salmon was not measurably affected by other salmon species, but their growth was sometimes inversely related to their own abundance. In all marine studies, pink salmon affected other species through exploitation of prey resources rather than interference. Interspecific competition was observed in nearshore and offshore waters of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, and one study documented competition between species originating from different continents. Climate change had variable effects on competition. In the North Pacific Ocean, competition was observed before and after the ocean regime shift in 1977 that significantly altered abundances of many marine species, whereas a study in the Pacific Northwest reported a shift from predation- to competition-based mortality in response to the 1982/1983 El Nino. Key traits of pink salmon that influenced competition with other salmonids included great abundance, high consumption rates and rapid growth, degree of diet overlap or consumption of lower trophic level prey, and early migration timing into the ocean. The consistent pattern of findings from multiple regions of the ocean provides evidence that interspecific competition can significantly influence salmon population dynamics and that pink salmon may be the dominant competitor among salmon in marine waters. Keywords climate change competition food web growth North Pacific Ocean salmon survival References Achord, S., Levin, P.S., Zabel, R.W. 2003 Density-dependent mortality in Pacific salmon: ghosts of impact past? Ecol. Lett 6 335 342 CrossRef Google Scholar Anderson, P.J., Piatt, J.F. 1999 Community reorganization in the Gulf of Alaska following ocean climate regime shift Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser 189 117 123 Google Scholar Aydin, K.Y. 2000Trophic feedback and carrying capacity of Pacific salmon ( Oncorhynchus spp.) on the high seas of the Gulf of Alaska University of Washington Seattle, WA 396 Google Scholar Azuma, T. 1995 Biological mechanisms enabling sympatry between salmonids with special reference to sockeye and chum salmon in oceanic waters Fish. Res 24 291 300 CrossRef Google Scholar Azumaya, T., Ishida, Y. 2000 Density interactions between pink salmon ( Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum salmon ( O. keta) and their possible effects on distribution and growth in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Comm. Bull 2 165 174 Google Scholar Batten, S.D., Welch, D.W., Jonas, T. 2003 Latitudinal differences in duration of development of Neocalanus plumchrus copepodites Fish. Oceanogr 12 201 208 CrossRef Google Scholar Beacham, T.D. 1993 Competition between juvenile pink salmon ( Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum salmon ( O. keta) and its effect on growth and survival Can. J. Zool 71 1270 1274 Google Scholar Beacham, T.D., Starr, P. 1982 Population biology of chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, from the Fraser River, British Columbia Fish. Bull 80 813 825 Google Scholar Beamish, R.J., Bouillon, D.R. 1993 Pacific salmon production trends in relation to climate Can. J. Fish Aquat. Sci 50 1002 1016 Google Scholar Beamish, R.J., Mahnken, C. 2001 A critical size and period hypothesis to explain natural regulation of salmon abundance and linkage to climate and climate change Progr. Oceanogr 49 423 437 CrossRef Google Scholar Bertness, M.D., Gaines, S.D., Hay, M.E. 2001Marine Community Ecology Sinauer Associates Sunderland, MA 550 Google Scholar Bigler, B.S., Welch, D.W., Helle, J.H. 1996 A review of size trends among North Pacific salmon ( Oncorhynchus spp.) Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci 53 445 465 CrossRef Google Scholar Birman, I.B. 1976 Minor cycles in the abundance dynamics of salmon J. Icthyyol 16 364 372 Google Scholar
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