Event Title

Differences in Benthic Habitat Selection by Closely Related Endemic Whitefish in Bear Lake Utah-Idaho: Tradeoffs between Food Availability, Consumption Rates, and Predation Risk

Presenter Information

Ben Kennedy

Location

Space Dynamics Laboratory

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/htm/conference/past-spring-runoff-conferences

Start Date

25-3-2004 11:00 AM

End Date

25-3-2004 11:05 AM

Description

Bear Lake whitefish (Prosopium abyssicola) and Bonneville whitefish (P. spilonotus) are endemic to Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho and comprise two of the six recognized species of the genus. To effectively conserve these unique fish it is necessary to understand how environmental characteristics of Bear Lake affect these species’ habitat and fitness. Benthic invertebrates, whitefish growth and diet, bioenergetics models, and tethered fish were used to assess the importance of food availability, proportion of maximum food consumption, and predation risk to spring and summer habitat selection. During both seasons Bonneville whitefish selected benthic areas along the metalimnetic interface of the lake (10-25 m) where there was a relatively high amount of food, moderate proportion of maximum food consumption and high risk of predation. In contrast, Bear Lake whitefish selected the deep profundal zone of the lake (50-60 m), which had the lowest amount of food but a high proportion of maximum consumption and the lowest risk of predation. This pattern suggests that these species exist in ecologically distinct areas of the ecosystem and conservation will require the protection of both habitat types. This information will be used to help predict the impacts of development, climate change and nonnative species on these species.

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Mar 25th, 11:00 AM Mar 25th, 11:05 AM

Differences in Benthic Habitat Selection by Closely Related Endemic Whitefish in Bear Lake Utah-Idaho: Tradeoffs between Food Availability, Consumption Rates, and Predation Risk

Space Dynamics Laboratory

Bear Lake whitefish (Prosopium abyssicola) and Bonneville whitefish (P. spilonotus) are endemic to Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho and comprise two of the six recognized species of the genus. To effectively conserve these unique fish it is necessary to understand how environmental characteristics of Bear Lake affect these species’ habitat and fitness. Benthic invertebrates, whitefish growth and diet, bioenergetics models, and tethered fish were used to assess the importance of food availability, proportion of maximum food consumption, and predation risk to spring and summer habitat selection. During both seasons Bonneville whitefish selected benthic areas along the metalimnetic interface of the lake (10-25 m) where there was a relatively high amount of food, moderate proportion of maximum food consumption and high risk of predation. In contrast, Bear Lake whitefish selected the deep profundal zone of the lake (50-60 m), which had the lowest amount of food but a high proportion of maximum consumption and the lowest risk of predation. This pattern suggests that these species exist in ecologically distinct areas of the ecosystem and conservation will require the protection of both habitat types. This information will be used to help predict the impacts of development, climate change and nonnative species on these species.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2004/AllPosters/14