For Brown Bears and Salmon, It’s Not Just About Numbers

Huge salmon runs feed Alaskan brown bears (a subspecies of grizzly bear) and, indeed, an entire ecosystem. Conservationists have long recognized that brown bears need lots and lots of salmon. It’s the abundance that shapes the ecosystem. And all that’s true.

But it’s not the whole story, according to a new paper published in the journal Ecosphere. The research found that the variation in timing of salmon migrations within individual streams influenced landscape-level patterns of brown bear activity. Looking at streams on Alaska’s Kodiak Island, the researchers found that the varied timing of salmon migrations likely matters as much as abundance.

LINK (via: Cool Green Science)

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