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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Walleye pollock, Gadus chalcogrammus, egg boons provide energy to the Gulf of Alaska food web. Photo: Alison L. Deary, NOAA Fisheries

Nielsen JM, Rogers LA, Kimmel DG, Deary AL, Duffy-Anderson JT


Contribution of walleye pollock eggs to the Gulf of Alaska food web in spring


Pulsed resources are prevalent phenomena that have disproportionally high and long lasting effects on ecosystem production. Many fishes aggregate and spawn in high densities and release, in the form of eggs, large amounts of energy to the environment. Nielsen and co-authors show that egg boons from walleye pollock ,Gadus chalcogrammus, provide a substantial pulsed resource flux to the Gulf of Alaska food web in spring. The egg boon is on the same order of magnitude as spring zooplankton production. The resource contributions from eggs also appear one to three weeks earlier than the spring peak rates of zooplankton production, and thus occur at a time when equivalent dietary resources are still limited for many consumers.


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