skip to main content


Title: An unseen synchrony or recurrent resource pulse opportunity? linking fisheries with aeroecology
Abstract

Understanding insect and fish interactions from a spatial and temporal perspective can have implications on large‐scale phenology in freshwater systems, yet current information is limited. We employed a novel approach of combining information from acoustic telemetry for six freshwater fish species and weather radar to assess the phenology of mayfly emergence and foraging patterns of freshwater fish. We hypothesized that freshwater fish conduct synchronous movements with annual mayfly hatches as a pulse resource opportunity. Generalized additive models were developed to assess movement distance as a function of species and time; before, during, and after annual mayfly hatch events. A cross‐section abundance index was also employed to quantify dynamics of aerial mayflies. Hatch dynamics revealed nocturnal emergence behaviour with annual variations in intensity, spatial extent, and origin. We found that the hatch was likely a pulse resource feeding opportunity for channel catfish, common carp, freshwater drum, and walleye instead of a synchronized feeding event. Bigmouth buffalo and lake sturgeon utilized riverine habitat away from the hatch and did not likely forage on the emerging mayflies. Remote sensing of fishes and emergent insects using our approach is the first attempt at bridging the capabilities of fisheries ecology and aeroecology to advance movement ecology.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10456714
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
Volume:
6
Issue:
3
ISSN:
2056-3485
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 366-380
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Background Hydrological impacts on aquatic biota have been assessed in numerous empirical studies. Aquatic insects are severely affected by population declines and consequent diversity loss. However, many uncertainties remain regarding the effects of hydrology on insect production and the consequences of energy transfer to the terrestrial ecosystem. Likewise, sublethal effects on insect morphology remain poorly quantified in highly variable environments. Here, we characterized monthly fluctuation in benthic and emerged biomass of Ephemeroptera in a tropical lowland stream. We quantified the proportion of mayfly production that emerges into the riparian forest. We also examined the potential morphological changes in Farrodes caribbianus (the most abundant mayfly in our samples) due to environmental stress. Methods We collected mayflies (nymphs and adults) in a first-order stream in Costa Rica. We compared benthic and adult biomass from two years’ worth of samples, collected with a core sampler (0.006 m 2 ) and a 2 m 2 -emergence trap. The relationship between emergence and annual secondary production (E/P) was used to estimate the Ephemeroptera production that emerged as adults. A model selection approach was used to determine the relationship between environmental variables that were collected monthly and the emergent biomass. To determine potential departures from perfect bilateral symmetry, we evaluated the symmetry of two morphological traits (forceps and forewing) of F. caribbianus adults. We used Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients (ρ) to examine potential changes in adult body length as a possible response to environmental stress. Results Benthic biomass was variable, with peaks throughout the study period. However, peaks in benthic biomass did not lead to increases in mayfly emergence, which remained stable over time. Relatively constant mayfly emergence suggests that they were aseasonal in tropical lowland streams. Our E/P estimate indicated that approximately 39% and 20% (for 2002 and 2003, respectively) of the nymph production emerged as adults. Our estimated proportion of mayfly production transferred to terrestrial ecosystems was high relative to reports from temperate regions. We observed a strong negative response of F . caribbianus body length to increased hydrology (Spearman: ρ = −0.51, p < 0.001), while slight departures from perfect symmetry were observed in all traits. Conclusion Our two years study demonstrates that there was large temporal variability in mayfly biomass that was unrelated to hydrological fluctuations, but potentially related to trophic interactions (e.g., fish predation). Body length was a good indicator of environmental stress, which could have severe associated costs for mayfly fitness in ecosystems with high temporal variation. Our results highlight the complex ecological and evolutionary dynamics of tropical aquatic insects, and the intricate connection between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. 
    more » « less
  2. Seasonal animal movement among disparate habitats is a fundamental mechanism by which energy, nutrients, and biomass are transported across ecotones. A dramatic example of such exchange is the annual emergence of mayfly swarms from freshwater benthic habitats, but their characterization at macroscales has remained impossible. We analyzed radar observations of mayfly emergence flights to quantify long-term changes in annual biomass transport along the Upper Mississippi River and Western Lake Erie Basin. A single emergence event can produce 87.9 billion mayflies, releasing 3,078.6 tons of biomass into the airspace over several hours, but in recent years, production across both waterways has declined by over 50%. As a primary prey source in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, these declines will impact higher trophic levels and environmental nutrient cycling.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract Aim

    Climate change is broadly affecting phenology, but species‐specific phenological response to temperature is not well understood. In streams, insect emergence has important ecosystem‐level consequences because emergent adults link aquatic and terrestrial food webs. We quantified emergence timing and duration (within‐population synchronicity) of insects among streams along a spatiotemporal gradient of mean water temperature in a montane basin to assess the sensitivity of these phenological traits to heat accumulation from mid‐winter through spring emergence periods.

    Location

    Six headwater streams in the Lookout Creek basin, H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, USA.

    Methods

    We collected emerging adults of four abundant insect species twice weekly throughout spring for 6 consecutive years. We fit Gaussian models to the empirical temporal distributions to characterize peak emergence timing (mean) and duration (days between 5th and 95th percentiles) for each species/stream/year combination. We then quantified relationships between degree‐day accumulation and phenological response.

    Results

    Only one of the four species (a caddisfly) showed a simple response of earlier emergence timing in both warmer streams and years. One stonefly had lengthy emergence periods resulting in substantial phenological overlap between warmer and cooler streams/years. Interestingly, two species (a mayfly and a stonefly) responded strongly to temporal (interannual) temperature differences but minimally to spatial differences, indicating that emergence was nearly synchronous among streams, within years. These two species had among‐stream differences approaching 500 degree‐days from mid‐winter to peak emergence. Conversely, duration of emergence was more strongly associated with spatial than temporal differences, with longer duration in lower‐elevation (warmer) streams.

    Main conclusions

    Emergence phenology has species‐specific responses to temperature likely driven by complex cues for diapause or quiescence periods during preceding life cycle stages. We hypothesize a trade‐off between complex phenological response that synchronizes emergence among heterogeneous sites and other traits such as adult longevity and dispersal capacity.

     
    more » « less
  4. Freshwater salinity varies in natural systems and plays a role in species distribution. Anthropogenic alterations to freshwater salinity regimes include sea level rise and subsequent intrusion of saline waters to inland habitats. While mayflies are generalized to be sensitive to increasing salinity, we still know remarkably little about the physiological processes (and their plasticity) that determine the performance of species in a changing world. Here, we explored life-history outcomes and physiological plasticity in a population of Callibaetis floridanus (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae) from a coastal pond that routinely experiences saltwater intrusion. We reared naiads from egg hatch to adulthood across a gradient of increasing salinities (113, 5,020, 9,921 μS/cm). Radiotracer flux studies ( 22 Na, 35 SO 4 , and 45 Ca) were conducted in naiads reared at each salinity, revealing a positive association between ionic concentration and uptake rates. However, the influence of rearing history on ionic influx rates was apparent when naiads were transferred from their respective rearing water to the other experimental conditions. For example, we observed that naiads reared in the low salinity treatment (113 μS/cm) had 10.8-fold higher Na uptake rates than naiads reared at 9,921 μS/cm and transferred to 113 μS/cm. Additionally, naiads acclimated to the higher salinity water exhibited reduced uptake in ion-rich water relative to those reared in more dilute conditions (e.g., in 9,921 μS/cm water, 113 and 5,020 μS/cm acclimated naiads had 1.5- and 1.1-fold higher Na uptake rates than 9,921 μS/cm acclimated naiads, respectively). We found no significant changes in survival (80 ± 4.4%, mean ± s.e.m.) or naiad development time (24 ± 0.3 days, mean ± s.e.m.) across these treatments but did observe a 27% decrease in subimago female body weight in the most dilute condition. This reduction in female weight was associated with higher oxygen consumption rates in naiads relative to the other rearing conditions. Collectively, these data suggests that saline adapted C. floridanus may be more energetically challenged in dilute conditions, which differs from previous observations in other mayfly species. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Microplastic is a contaminant of concern worldwide. Rivers are implicated as major pathways of microplastic transport to marine and lake ecosystems, and microplastic ingestion by freshwater biota is a risk associated with microplastic contamination, but there is little research on microplastic ecology within freshwater ecosystems. Microplastic uptake by fish is likely affected by environmental microplastic abundance and aspects of fish ecology, but these relationships have rarely been addressed. We measured the abundance and composition of microplastic in fish and surface waters from 3 major tributaries of Lake Michigan, USA. Microplastic was detected in fish and surface waters from all 3 sites, but there was no correlation between microplastic concentrations in fish and surface waters. Rather, there was a significant effect of functional feeding group on microplastic concentration in fish.Neogobius melanostomus(round goby, a zoobenthivore) had the highest concentration of gut microplastic (19 particles fish−1) compared to 10 other fish taxa measured, and had a positive linear relationship between body size and number of microplastic particles. Surface water microplastic concentrations were lowest in the most northern, forested watershed, and highest in the most southern, agriculturally dominated watershed. Results suggest microplastic pollution is common in river food webs and is connected to species feeding characteristics. Future research should focus on understanding the movement of microplastic from point-source and diffuse sources and into aquatic ecosystems, which will support pollution management efforts on inland waters.

     
    more » « less