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Freshwater habitat associations between pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), chum (O. keta) and Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in a watershed dominated by sockeye salmon (O. nerka) abundance
- Pess, George R., Quinn, Thomas P., Schindler, Daniel E., Liermann, Martin C.
- Ecology of freshwater fish 2014 v.23 no.3 pp. 360-372
- Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, Oncorhynchus nerka, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, drainage, freshwater, habitats, models, rivers, salmon, streams, watersheds, wood, Alaska
- To understand the interplay between habitat use and contemporary anadromous Pacific salmon, Oncorhynchus spp., distributions we explored the habitat associations of three species, pink (O. gorbuscha), chum (O. keta) and Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in streams of the Wood River system of Bristol Bay, Alaska, where sockeye salmon (O. nerka) are numerically dominant. We developed models to investigate the occurrence of nondominant salmon in relation to habitat characteristics and sockeye salmon density, using four decades of salmon presence and abundance data. The frequency of occurrence and abundance of nondominant species increased with watershed drainage area and stream depth and decreased with sockeye salmon density. The range of occurrence varied from nonexistent to perennial for the other species in sockeye‐dominated streams. Increasing watershed area resulted in larger stream habitat area and deeper habitats, allowing for the sympatric occurrence and persistence of all salmon species. The relationships between habitat and the presence of these Pacific salmon help define their requirements but also remind us that the patterns of presence and absence, within the overall ranges of salmon species, have yet to be fully understood.