Spawning Salmon Density Influences Fruit Production of Salmonberry (Rubus Spectabilis)

Resource type
Date created
2020-11-02
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Annual spawning migrations by Pacific salmon can provide substantial subsidies to nutrient‐limited freshwater and riparian ecosystems, which can affect the abundance, diversity, and physical characteristics of plant and animal species in these habitats. Here, we provide the first investigation of how salmon subsidies affect reproductive output in plants, focusing on a common riparian shrub, salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis). We studied 14 streams with a range of spawning salmon densities on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada. We determined the effects of chum (Oncorhynchus keta), pink (O. gorbuscha), and total salmon spawning density on the number of fruits per shrub, number of seeds per fruit, fruit weight, and estimated sugar content (° Brix) of salmonberry fruits. We found that the number of fruits per salmonberry shrub increased with increasing salmon density. However, we found no effect of salmon density on the number of seeds per fruit, fruit weight, or sugar content. The effect of salmon density was species‐dependent; the number of fruits per shrub increased with chum salmon density but was not affected by pink salmon density. This could be because chum salmon occur at higher densities and are transferred from water to land at higher rates than pink salmon in our study area. Higher salmonberry fruit production could lead to a larger input of salmonberry fruits to coastal food webs. These results demonstrate how salmon can cross ecological boundaries and influence reproductive output of terrestrial species.
Document
Identifier
DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3282
Published as
Siemens, L. D., Dennert, A. M., Obrist, D. S., & Reynolds, J. D. (2020). Spawning salmon density influences fruit production of salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis). Ecosphere, 11(11), e03282. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3282.
Publication title
Ecosphere
Document title
Spawning Salmon Density Influences Fruit Production of Salmonberry (Rubus Spectabilis)
Date
2020
Volume
11
Issue
11
Publisher DOI
10.1002/ecs2.3282
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Language
Member of collection
Attachment Size
ecs2.3282.pdf 2.11 MB