Migrations of anadromous sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) from marine ecosystems serve as vectors of nutrients into freshwater food webs. Larval sea lamprey reside in streams for 6–8 years as deposit feeders before metamorphosing into juveniles and migrating to the ocean. Previous work has shown that carcass nutrients, which result from the death of adult lamprey after spawning, increase stream productivity and are consumed by larvae. This may increase larval growth rates and enhance earlier metamorphosis. We examined the sensitivity of life-history parameters and influence of nutrients from carcasses of sea lamprey on the age and growth of larval conspecifics with a deterministic stock-recruitment model. We hypothesized that variability in growth among larval populations is productivity mediated and we compared modeled populations in which larvae receive added growth benefits from carcass nutrients with populations that do not. The results of our simulation indicate that increases in larval growth and lower age at metamorphosis over time lead to an increase in spawner abundance. Increased growth rates may also improve fitness and bolster subsequent spawning stocks. Our research characterized 2 potential ecosystem states, one in which larval sea lamprey benefit from adult conspecifics and another in which the larvae do not.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||The influence of nutrients from carcasses of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) on larval growth and spawner abundance|
|Series title||Fishery Bulletin|
|Publisher||National Marine Fisheries Service|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Leetown|