Individual growth can exert strong controls on population dynamics and be constrained by resource acquisition rates. Difficulty in accurately quantifying resource availability over large spatial extents and at high temporal frequency often limits attempts to understand the extent that resources limit individual growth. Daily estimates of stream metabolism, including gross primary productivity (GPP), are increasingly available but have not, to our knowledge, been linked to fish growth. Here we examine how GPP, water temperature, high flow and turbidity are linked to spatiotemporal variation in growth of flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis). We fit state space growth models to six years of mark-recapture data collected in four river reaches spanning 300 river kilometers. Consistent with past research in this system, we find that water temperature is the dominant driver of spatiotemporal variation in growth. However, we also find that GPP is strongly linked to fish growth. Fish growth is likely to be linked to stream metabolism in other systems where overall productivity, not the quality of primary producers, limits the food webs that support fish growth.
|Title||Linking ecosystem processes to consumer growth rates: Gross primary productivity as a driver of freshwater fish somatic growth in a resource-limited river|
|Authors||Lindsay Erika Hansen, Charles Yackulic, Brett G. Dickson, Bridget Deemer, Rebecca J. Best|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Southwest Biological Science Center|