Nonnative salmon alter nitrification in Great Lakes tributaries

Apr 05, 2013

Nonnative species can affect the biogeochemistry of an ecosystem. For instance, Pacific salmon have been introduced as a sport fishery in many streams and lakes beyond their native range, but their introduction may be altering nitrogen cycling in those ecosystems.

Salmon excrete ammonium, which can be transformed into nitrate by bacteria in a process known as nitrification. Nitrate can be used by plants as an inorganic nitrogen source, but in excess it can also cause potentially to grow and, at high concentrations, is considered a pollutant in drinking water.

Levi and Tank measured sediment nitrification rates before, during, and after the salmon run in 2009 to study the effects of nonnative in five tributaries to the Great Lakes in Michigan and Ontario. Though the variation in nitrification rates was habitat-specific, the researchers observe increases in sediment nitrification rates in these streams. These changes in the form of dissolved inorganic nitrogen can affect nutrient dynamics not only where the salmon are but also in ecosystems located downstream. Fisheries managers may need to monitor the quantity and type of export to avoid possible unintended consequences for ecosystems associated with introduced .

Explore further: Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

More information: Nonnative Pacific salmon alter hot spots of sediment nitrification in Great Lakes tributaries, Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, doi:10.1002/jgrg.20044, 2013
onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrg.20044/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study links forest health to salmon populations

Mar 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new research paper written by Simon Fraser University biologists and published in the journal Science concludes that the abundance of salmon in spawning streams determines the diversity and productivity of pla ...

New methods for better purification of wastewater

Mar 05, 2012

Before wastewater reaches recipient waters, nutrients must be removed in order to avoid eutrophication and large algal blooms, which may result in serious damage to animal and plant life. Robert Almstrand at the University ...

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

15 hours ago

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Apr 18, 2014

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.