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Transhemispheric ecosystem disservices of pink salmon in a Pacific Ocean macrosystem


Springer, AM and van Vliet, GB and Bool, N and Crowley, M and Fullagar, P and Lea, MA and Monash, R and Price, C and Vertigan, C and Woehler, EJ, Transhemispheric ecosystem disservices of pink salmon in a Pacific Ocean macrosystem, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America, 115, (22) pp. E5038-E5045. ISSN 0027-8424 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright the Authors 2018. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.1720577115


Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in the North Pacific Ocean have flourished since the 1970s, with growth in wild populations augmented by rising hatchery production. As their abundance has grown, so too has evidence that they are having important effects on other species and on ocean ecosystems. In alternating years of high abundance, they can initiate pelagic trophic cascades in the northern North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea and depress the availability of common prey resources of other species of salmon, resident seabirds, and other pelagic species. We now propose that the geographic scale of ecosystem disservices of pink salmon is far greater due to a 15,000-kilometer transhemispheric teleconnection in a Pacific Ocean macrosystem maintained by short-tailed shearwaters (Ardenna tenuirostris), seabirds that migrate annually between their nesting grounds in the South Pacific Ocean and wintering grounds in the North Pacific Ocean. Over this century, the frequency and magnitude of mass mortalities of shearwaters as they arrive in Australia, and their abundance and productivity, have been related to the abundance of pink salmon. This has influenced human social, economic, and cultural traditions there, and has the potential to alter the role shearwaters play in insular terrestrial ecology. We can view the unique biennial pulses of pink salmon as a large, replicated, natural experiment that offers basin-scale opportunities to better learn how these ecosystems function. By exploring trophic interaction chains driven by pink salmon, we may achieve a deeper conservation conscientiousness for these northern open oceans.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:shearwater, transhemispheric, ecosystem, North Pacific, teleconnection, short-tailed shearwater, carryover effect, interaction chain, ecosystem management
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Bool, N (Ms Natalie Bool)
UTAS Author:Lea, MA (Professor Mary-Anne Lea)
UTAS Author:Price, C (Miss Cassandra Price)
UTAS Author:Vertigan, C (Ms Caitlin Vertigan)
UTAS Author:Woehler, EJ (Dr Eric Woehler)
ID Code:125928
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-05-16
Last Modified:2018-11-15
Downloads:36 View Download Statistics

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