Resource Pulses Increase the Diversity of Successful Competitors in a Multi-Species Stream Fish Assemblage

Resource type
Date created
2020-09-18
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Food resources are often patchily distributed through space and time and are classified as resource pulses when hyperabundant. Resource pulses can benefit growth, reproduction, and abundance of various consumers. Yet, it is relatively unknown how such resources are partitioned among competing consumers and how this is influenced by the magnitude of the pulse. Here, we examined how the magnitude of a pulsed resource influences resource partitioning among diverse sizes and species of consumers in a natural setting over small spatial and temporal scales. We focused on salmon egg subsidies to stream fish consumers. We experimentally added different quantities of pink salmon eggs to five meter long experimental stream sections. Egg additions spanned three orders of magnitude from 6 to 3575 eggs. Stream fish (egg consumers) were captured and gastric lavaged at each experimental section to determine how many eggs each individual fish consumed. We modeled taxon‐specific individual egg consumption as a function of egg availability, individual mass, community composition, number of competitors, and stream velocity using hurdle models in a Bayesian framework. We found that there were diminishing returns for increasing egg abundance increasing egg consumption (i.e., type II functional response) for individual size classes of fish, but that higher egg numbers were needed to benefit diverse consumers. Top models indicated that egg availability and individual fish characteristics (size and taxon) drove egg consumption, while community characteristics (species composition and number of competitors) were not supported. Our results suggest that resource pulses can provide rare opportunities for less dominant sizes and species of fish to consume abundant resources. The current paradigm in the stream fish literature suggests that stream fish communities are structured by dominance hierarchies; however, dominance hierarchies may be less influential where pulsed resources comprise a large portion of the resource base.
Document
Identifier
DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3211
Published as
Bailey, C. J., & Moore, J. W. (2020). Resource pulses increase the diversity of successful competitors in a multi-species stream fish assemblage. Ecosphere, 11(9), e03211. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3211
Publication title
Ecosphere
Document title
Resource Pulses Increase the Diversity of Successful Competitors in a Multi-Species Stream Fish Assemblage
Date
2020
Volume
11
Issue
9
Publisher DOI
10.1002/ecs2.3211
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Language
Member of collection
Attachment Size
ecs2.3211.pdf 10.96 MB