Monday, 23 April 2012

Salmon’s role in defining Canadian ecosystems

According to the publication Science, pacific salmon play an important role in delivering nutrients to part of the world’s largest old-growth temperate rainforest. The annual migration of salmon to western Canada to spawn provides food for bears and wolves, which then transport the carcasses away from the streams into forested areas. In turn, this allows nutrient-rich plants to thrive in such areas, adding to biodiversity there. "Along the Pacific coast, all salmon die after spawning so carcasses can line rivers, but many of them are killed before by bears and wolves," explained co-author John Reynolds, professor of ecology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Canada. "This adds up to a huge amount of nutrients being dumped into the stream or on to the banks," he added.

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