Invasives threaten salmon in Pacific Northwest

March 2, 2009

Many native fishes in the Pacific Northwest are threatened or endangered, notably salmonids, and hundreds of millions of dollars are expended annually on researching their populations and on amelioration efforts.

Most of the attention and funding have been directed toward to the impacts of habitat alteration, hatcheries, harvest, and the hydrosystem--the "all H's." A study published in the March 2009 issue of BioScience concludes, however, that nonindigenous species, notably invasive fishes, appear to pose at least as much of a threat to native salmonids as the all H's, principally through predation.

The study, by Beth L. Sanderson of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington and two colleagues, made use of a spatially explicit database that identified the presence of invasive species in roughly 1800-square-kilometer, hydrologically connected areas throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The number of invasive species in each area ranged between 86 and 486, the majority being plants and fish.

Sanderson and colleagues assembled reports of predation by six nonindigenous fish species: catfish, black and white crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, and yellow perch. Hundreds of thousands to millions of juvenile salmonids were being consumed by these species at just a handful of sites, and for some of the species, salmonids constituted a large fraction of their diet. Yet despite the clear evidence of a substantial impact of invasive species on economically important salmonids, only a very small percentage of research funding is devoted to the potential harms to salmon resulting from invasives.

Source: American Institute of Biological Sciences

Explore further: New discovery of alarm response in medaka fish furthers analysis of fear

Related Stories

Minimum dose with maximum effect

November 28, 2016

LMU researchers have shown that a defined set of 15 bacterial species protects mice from Salmonella infections as effectively as does the natural gut microbiota. The system will facilitate studies of host-pathogen interactions ...

Using sound to stop destructive beetles in their tracks

November 30, 2016

What would the paradise of Hawaii be without swaying coconut palms, with succulent fruit that is almost synonymous with the tropical island? Unfortunately, that may be the future of the island unless scientists find some ...

Denial of invasive species threat worries scientists

November 24, 2016

Scientists believe a new battlefront is opening in science denialism and this time the target is the science of invasive alien species and the fight to protect some of the world's rarest species and most unique ecosystems.

Recommended for you

Protein disrupts infectious biofilms

December 8, 2016

Many infectious pathogens are difficult to treat because they develop into biofilms, layers of metabolically active but slowly growing bacteria embedded in a protective layer of slime, which are inherently more resistant ...

The song of silence

December 8, 2016

Like humans learning to speak, juvenile birds learn to sing by mimicking vocalizations of adults of the same species during development. Juvenile birds preferentially learn the song of their own species, even in noisy environments ...

An anti-CRISPR for gene editing

December 8, 2016

Researchers have discovered a way to program cells to inhibit CRISPR-Cas9 activity. "Anti-CRISPR" proteins had previously been isolated from viruses that infect bacteria, but now University of Toronto and University of Massachusetts ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.