Skip to main content

Evidence for competitive dominance of Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) over other Salmonids in the North Pacific Ocean

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • S. Achord P.S. Levin R.W. Zabel (2003) ArticleTitleDensity-dependent mortality in Pacific salmon: ghosts of impact past? Ecol. Lett 6 335–342 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00438.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • P.J. Anderson J.F. Piatt (1999) ArticleTitleCommunity reorganization in the Gulf of Alaska following ocean climate regime shift Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser 189 117–123

    Google Scholar 

  • K.Y. Aydin (2000) Trophic 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 

  • T. Azuma (1995) ArticleTitleBiological mechanisms enabling sympatry between salmonids with special reference to sockeye and chum salmon in oceanic waters Fish. Res 24 291–300 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0165-7836(95)00383-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • T. Azumaya Y. Ishida (2000) ArticleTitleDensity 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 

  • S.D. Batten D.W. Welch T. Jonas (2003) ArticleTitleLatitudinal differences in duration of development of Neocalanus plumchrus copepodites Fish. Oceanogr 12 201–208 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1365-2419.2003.00233.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • T.D. Beacham (1993) ArticleTitleCompetition 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 

  • T.D. Beacham P. Starr (1982) ArticleTitlePopulation biology of chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, from the Fraser River, British Columbia Fish. Bull 80 813–825

    Google Scholar 

  • R.J. Beamish D.R. Bouillon (1993) ArticleTitlePacific salmon production trends in relation to climate Can. J. Fish Aquat. Sci 50 1002–1016

    Google Scholar 

  • R.J. Beamish C. Mahnken (2001) ArticleTitleA critical size and period hypothesis to explain natural regulation of salmon abundance and linkage to climate and climate change Progr. Oceanogr 49 423–437 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0079-6611(01)00034-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • M.D. Bertness S.D. Gaines M.E. Hay (2001) Marine Community Ecology Sinauer Associates Sunderland, MA 550

    Google Scholar 

  • B.S. Bigler D.W. Welch J.H. Helle (1996) ArticleTitleA review of size trends among North Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci 53 445–465 Occurrence Handle10.1139/cjfas-53-2-455

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • I.B. Birman (1976) ArticleTitleMinor cycles in the abundance dynamics of salmon J. Icthyyol 16 364–372

    Google Scholar 

  • Bornhold E.A. (1999) Interannual and interdecadal patterns in timing and the abundance of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the Strait of Georgia. B.C. Masters Thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

  • R. Brodeur (1990) A synthesis of the food habits and feeding ecology of salmonids in marine waters of the North Pacific Univ. Washington Seattle, WA 38

    Google Scholar 

  • R.D. Brodeur D.M. Ware (1992) ArticleTitleLong-term variability in zooplankton biomass in the Subarctic Pacific Ocean Fish. Oceanogr 1 32–38

    Google Scholar 

  • Bugaev, V.F. (2002) On pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) abundance influence on Asian sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) abundance. (NPAFC Doc. 628) 11 pp. Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO), Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683602, Russia.

  • V.F. Bugaev V.A. Dubynin (2000) ArticleTitleFactors influencing abundance of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from the Ozernaya River, Southwest Kamchatka N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Comm. Bull 2 181–189

    Google Scholar 

  • V.F. Bugaev D.W. Welch M.M. Selifonov L.E. Grachev J.P. Eveson (2001) ArticleTitleInfluence of the marine abundance of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and sockeye salmon (O. nerka) on growth of Ozernaya River sockeye Fish. Oceanogr 10 26–32 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1365-2419.2001.00150.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • J.M. Chase P.A. Abrams J.P. Grover S. Diehl P. Chesson R.D. Holt S.A. Richards R.M. Nisbet T.J. Case (2002) ArticleTitleThe interaction between predation and competition: a review and synthesis Ecol. Lett 5 302–315 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1461-0248.2002.00315.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D.H. Cushing (1975) Marine Ecology and Fisheries Cambridge University Press Cambridge, U.K 292

    Google Scholar 

  • N.D. Davis (2003) Feeding ecology of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) in the central North Pacific Ocean and central Bering Sea, 1991–2000 Hokkaido University Hakodate, Japan 190

    Google Scholar 

  • N.D. Davis K.Y. Aydin Y. Ishida (2000) ArticleTitleDiel catches and food habits of sockeye, pink, and chum salmon in the central Bering Sea in summer N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Comm. Bull 2 99–109

    Google Scholar 

  • E.J. Duffy (2003) Early marine distribution and trophic interactions of juvenile salmon in Puget Sound University of Washington Seattle, WA

    Google Scholar 

  • K.L. Fresh (1997) The role of competition and predation in the declines of anadromous salmonids in the Pacific Northwest D.J. Stouder P.A. Bison R.J. Naiman (Eds) Pacific Salmon and Their Ecosystems: Status and Future Options Chapman & Hall New York 245–276

    Google Scholar 

  • A.F. Gallagher SuffixJr. (1979) An analysis of factors affecting brood year returns in wild stocks of Puget Sound chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) University of Washington Seattle, WA

    Google Scholar 

  • L.E. Grachev (1967) ArticleTitleGrowth rate of chinook salmon I Okeanografii 57 89–97

    Google Scholar 

  • C.K. Harris (1989) The effects of international treaty changes on Japan’s high seas salmon fisheries, with emphasis on their catches of North American sockeye salmon, 1972–1984 University of Washington Seattle, WA 231

    Google Scholar 

  • M.C. Healey (1980) The ecology of juvenile chinook salmon in Georgia Strait, British Columbia W.J. McNeil D.C. Himsworth (Eds) Salmonid Ecosystems of the North Pacific Oregon State University Press Corvallis, OR 203–229

    Google Scholar 

  • M.C. Healey (1991) Life history of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) C. Groot L. Margolis (Eds) Pacific Salmon Life Histories University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC 312–393

    Google Scholar 

  • W.R. Heard (1991) Life history of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) C. Groot L. Margolis (Eds) Pacific Salmon Life Histories University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC 121–232

    Google Scholar 

  • W.R. Heard (1998) ArticleTitleDo hatchery salmon affect the North Pacific Ocean ecosystem? N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Comm. Bull 1 405–411

    Google Scholar 

  • V.N. Ivankov V.L. Andreyev (1971) ArticleTitleThe south Kuril chum (Oncorhynchus keta): ecology, population structure and the modeling of the population J. Icthyyol 11 511–524

    Google Scholar 

  • L. Jiang A. Kulczycki (2004) ArticleTitleCompetition, predation and species responses to environmental change Oikos 106 217–224 Occurrence Handle10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.13056.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • T. Joyner (1975) ArticleTitleToward a planetary aquaculture-the seas as range and cropland Marine Fish. Rev 37 5–10

    Google Scholar 

  • V.W. Kaczynski R.J. Feller J. Clayton R.J. Gerke (1973) ArticleTitleTrophic analysis of juvenile pink and chum salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha and keta) in Puget Sound J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can 30 1003–1008

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Kaeriyama M. Nakamura M. Yamaguchi H. Ueda G. Anma S. Takagi K.Y. Aydin R.V. Walker K.W. Myers (2000) ArticleTitleFeeding ecology of sockeye and pink salmon in the Gulf of Alaska N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Commun. Bull 2 55–63

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Kaeriyama M. Nakamura R. Edpalina J.R. Bower M. Yamaguchi R.V. Walker K.W. Myers (2004) ArticleTitleChange in the feeding ecology and trophic dynamics of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) in the central Gulf of Alaska in relation to climate events Fish. Oceanogr 13 197–207 Occurrence Handle10.1111/j.1365-2419.2004.00286.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krogius, K.V. (1964) The rate of growth and age groupings of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka Walb.) in the sea. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. Transl. Ser. 413.

  • Krogius, K.V. (1967) Some causes of the changes in growth rate of Oncorhynchus nerka (Walb.) of Ozernaya River. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. Transl. Ser. 987.

  • W.A. Larsen S.J. McCleary (1972) ArticleTitleThe use of partial residual plots in regression analysis Technometrics 14 781–790

    Google Scholar 

  • R.J. LeBrasseur R.R. Parker (1964) ArticleTitleGrowth rate of central British Columbia pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) J. Fish Res. Bd. Can 26 1631–1645

    Google Scholar 

  • P.S. Levin R.W. Zabel J.G. Williams (2001) ArticleTitleThe road to extinction is paved with good intentions: negative association of fish hatcheries with threatened species Proc. Royal. Soc. Lond 268 1153–1158 Occurrence Handle10.1098/rspb.2001.1634 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3M3pt1Oquw%3D%3D

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • D.L. Mackas A. Tsuda (1999) ArticleTitleMesozooplankton in the eastern and western subarctic Pacific: community structure, seasonal life histories, and interannual variability Progr. Oceanogr 43 335–363 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0079-6611(99)00012-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • C. Mahnken G. Ruggerone W. Waknitz T. Flagg (1998) ArticleTitleA historical perspective on salmonid production from Pacific rim hatcheries N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Commun. Bull 1 38–53

    Google Scholar 

  • J.H. Michael SuffixJr. (1995) ArticleTitleEnhancement effects of spawning pink salmon on stream rearing juvenile coho salmon: managing once resource to benefit another Northwest Sci 69 228–233

    Google Scholar 

  • N.J. Mantua S.R. Hare Y. Zhang J.M. Wallace R.C. Francis (1997) ArticleTitleA Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production Bull. Am. Meterol. Soc 78 1069–1079 Occurrence Handle10.1175/1520-0477(1997)078<1069:APICOW>2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Myers, K. (1997) Offshore distribution and migration patterns and ocean survival of salmon. In: Emmett, R. L. and Schiewe, M.H. (eds.), Estuarine and Ocean Survival of Northeastern Pacific Salmon. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-29.

  • Myers, K.W., Aydin, K.Y., Walker, R.V., Fowler, S. and Dahlberg, M.L. (1996) Known ocean ranges of stocks of Pacific salmon and steelhead as shown by tagging experiments, 1956-1995. N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Comm. Doc. 192, FRI-UW-9614, Seattle: University of Washington.

  • K. Nagasawa (2000) ArticleTitleWinter zooplankton biomass in the Subarctic North Pacific, with a discussion on overwintering survival strategy of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Commun. Bull 2 21–32

    Google Scholar 

  • InstitutionalAuthorNameNational Research Council (1999) Sustaining Marine Fisheries National Academy Press Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • K.N. Nesis (1997) ArticleTitleGonatid squids in the subarctic North Pacific: ecology, biogeography, niche diversity and role in the ecosystem Adv. Mar. Ecol 32 245–324

    Google Scholar 

  • InstitutionalAuthorNameODFW/WDFW (2002) Status report: Columbia River fish runs and fisheries, 1938-2000 Washington Department Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Olympia, WA

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Ogura Y. Ishida S. Ito (1991) ArticleTitleGrowth variation of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in the western North Pacific Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 57 1089–1093

    Google Scholar 

  • W.G. Pearcy (1992) Ocean Ecology of North Pacific Salmonids University of Washington Press Seattle, WA 179

    Google Scholar 

  • W.G. Pearcy K.Y. Aydin R.D. Brodeur (1999) ArticleTitleWhat is the carrying capacity of the North Pacific Ocean for salmonids PICES Press 7 17–23

    Google Scholar 

  • R.M. Peterman (1982) ArticleTitleNonlinear relation between smolts and adults in Babine Lake sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) and implications for other salmon populations Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci 39 904–913

    Google Scholar 

  • A.C. Phillips W.E. Barraclough (1978) ArticleTitleEarly marine growth of juvenile Pacific salmon in the Strait of Georgia and Saanich Inlet, British Columbia Fish. Mar. Serv. (Can.) Tech. Rep 830 1–19

    Google Scholar 

  • D.C. Pratt (1974) Age, sex, length, weight, and scarring of adult chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) harvested by Puget Sound commercial net fisheries from 1954 to 1970: supplemental progress report. Marine Fisheries Investigation, Puget Sound Commercial Net Fisheries Washington Department of Fisheries Olympia, WA

    Google Scholar 

  • InstitutionalAuthorNamePuget Sound Water Quality Action Team (PSWQAT) (2002) Puget Sound update 2002. Eighth report of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team Olympia, WA

    Google Scholar 

  • W.E. Ricker (1962) Regulation of the abundance of pink salmon populations N.J. Wilmovsky (Eds) Symposium on pink salmon. H.R. MacMillan Lectures in Fisheries Institute of Fisheries, University of British Columbia Vancouver BC 155–206

    Google Scholar 

  • D.E. Rogers (1984) Trends in abundance of Northeastern Pacific stocks of salmon W.G. Pearcy (Eds) The influence of ocean conditions on the production of salmonids in the North Pacific Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 100–127

    Google Scholar 

  • D.E. Rogers (1987) Pacific salmon D.W. Hood S.T. Zimmerman (Eds) The Gulf of Alaska NOAA Dept. Commerce Washington D.C 461–475

    Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, D.E. (2001) Estimates of annual salmon runs from the North Pacific, 1951-2001. University of Washington Rep. No. SAFS-UW-0115.

  • D.E. Rogers G.T. Ruggerone (1993) ArticleTitleFactors affecting the marine growth of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon Fish. Res 18 89–103 Occurrence Handle10.1016/0165-7836(93)90042-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • G.T. Ruggerone M. Zimmermann K.W. Myers J.L. Nielsen D.E. Rogers (2003) ArticleTitleCompetition between Asian pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and Alaskan sockeye salmon (O. nerka) in the North Pacific Ocean Fish Oceanogr 12 209–219 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1365-2419.2003.00239.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • G.T. Ruggerone E. Farley J. Nielsen P. Hagen (2004) ArticleTitleSeasonal marine growth of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in relation to competition with Asian pink salmon (O. gorbuscha) and the 1977 ocean regime shift Fish. Bull 103 355–370

    Google Scholar 

  • Ruggerone, G.T., and Goetz, F.A. (2004) Survival of Puget Sound chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in response to climate-induced competition with pink salmon (O. gorbuscha). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. (in press).

  • E.O. Salo (1991) Life history of chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) C. Groot L. Margolis (Eds) Pacific Salmon Life Histories University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC 231–309

    Google Scholar 

  • O. Sano (1963) ArticleTitleNotes on environmental factors affecting the salmon populations in oceanic life Bull. Jap. Soc. Scientific Fish 29 749–753

    Google Scholar 

  • T.W. Schoener (1983) ArticleTitleField experiments on interspecific competition Am. Nat 122 240–285 Occurrence Handle10.1086/284133

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • A. Shiomoto K. Tadokoro K. Nagasawa Y. Ishida (1997) ArticleTitleTrophic relations in the Subarctic North Pacific ecosystem: possible feeding effect from pink salmon Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser 150 75–85

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Sinclair (1988) Marine Populations University of Washington Press Seattle, WA 252

    Google Scholar 

  • Sinyakov, S.A. (1998) Stock conditions of Pacific salmon in Kamchatka and its fisheries management. National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, S1almon Report Series No. 45, 281–293.

  • B.E. Skud (1982) ArticleTitleDominance in fishes: the relation between environment and abundance Science 216 144–149

    Google Scholar 

  • W.W. Smoker (1984) ArticleTitleGenetic effect on the dynamics of a model of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci 41 1446–1453

    Google Scholar 

  • Y.I. Sobolevsky (1996) Species composition and distribution of squids in the western Bering Sea O.A. Mathisen K.O. Coyle (Eds) Ecology of the Bering Sea: A Review of Russian Literature Fairbanks AK 135–141

    Google Scholar 

  • T. Sugimoto K. Tadokoro (1997) ArticleTitleInterannual-interdecadal variations in zooplankton biomass, chlorophyll concentration and physical environment in the subarctic Pacific and Bering Sea Fish. Oceanogr 6 74–93 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1365-2419.1997.00031.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • K. Tadokoro Y. Ishida N.D. Davis S. Ueyanagi T. Sugimoto (1996) ArticleTitleChange in chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) stomach contents associated with fluctuations of pink salmon (O. gorbuscha) abundance in the central subarctic Pacific and Bering Sea Fish. Oceanogr 5 89–99

    Google Scholar 

  • K. Takagi K.V. Aro A.C. Hartt M.B. Dell (1981) ArticleTitleDistributions and origin of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in offshore waters of the North Pacific Ocean Int. N. Pac. Fish. Commun. Bull 40 1–195

    Google Scholar 

  • R.V. Walker K.W. Myers (1998) ArticleTitleGrowth studies from 1956-95 collections of pink and chum salmon scales in the central North Pacific Ocean N. Pac. Anadr. Fish. Commun. Bull 1 54–65

    Google Scholar 

  • B.R. Ward P.A. Slaney (1988) ArticleTitleLife history and smolt-to-adult survival of Keogh River steelhead trout (Salmo gairdneri) and the relationship to smolt size Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci 45 1110–1122

    Google Scholar 

  • D.W. Welch T.R. Parsons (1993) ArticleTitle13C−15N values as indicators of trophic position and competitive overlap for Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) Fish. Oceanogr 2 11–23

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gregory T. Ruggerone.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ruggerone, G.T., Nielsen, J.L. Evidence for competitive dominance of Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) over other Salmonids in the North Pacific Ocean. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 14, 371–390 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-004-6927-0

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-004-6927-0

Keywords

  • climate change
  • competition
  • food web
  • growth
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • salmon
  • survival