We measured the ratios of stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon (d15N and d13C values) in organic matter sources and in the biota of three similar, small, largely-undisturbed streams, tributary to the Middle River and Takla Lake, that are used as spawning areas by the early Stuart stock of sockeye salmon. The three study streams differed considerably in their salmon escapements in 1984 (Bivouac Creek: 762, O'Neil Creek: 4371 and Forfar Creek: 4902 fish). Sockeye spawner densities at our study reaches varied from 0.1 to 2.6 sockeye per linear metre of stream. d15N and d13C values for salmon muscle tissue and eggs did not differ among streams, but salmon muscle tissue and eggs had very different isotopic signatures than instream riparian leaf litter and epilithon. Thus, stable isotope analysis (SIA) can be used to infer the organic carbon and nitrogen sources utilized by the stream-resident biota in these watersheds. Whole-animal d15 N values for mayfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs and caddisfly larvae collected ab
Johnston, N.T., Macdonald, J.S.; Hall, K.J.; Tschaplinski, P.J.. 1997. A Preliminary Study of the Role of Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) Carcasses as Carbon and Nitrogen Sources for Benthic Insects and Fishes in the Early Stuart Stock Spawning Streams, 1050 km from the Ocean. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Fisheries Project Report. RD55
Topic: Fish and Fish Habitats
Keywords: Sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka, carcasses, carbon, nitrogen, spawning, early Stuart stock, Middle River, Takla Lake
Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus nerka
English Name: Sockeye Salmon
Other Identifier: FPR RD55
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