Since marine derived nutrients (MDN) are transported not only in river channels but also across the entire river basin, including via ground water and migratory animals, it is necessary to investigate the contribution of MDN to the forest floor (soils) in order to quantify the true role of MDN at the river ecosystem scale. This study investigated the contribution of pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum salmon (O. keta) to total oceanic nitrogen (TN) input across a river basin using stable isotope analysis (SIA) of nitrogen (δ15N). The contribution of TN entering the river basin by salmon was 23.8 % relative to the total amount of TN exported from the river basin, providing a first estimate of MDN export for a river basin. The contribution of nitrogen from the ocean to the river basin soils was between 22.9 and 23.8 %. Furthermore, SIA showed that the transport of oceanic TN by sea eagles (Haliaeetus spp.) was greater than that by bears (Ursus arctos), which had previously been that bears are thought to be the major animal transporter of nutrients in the northern part of Japan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes