Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Biological Sciences


Amy Marie Marcarelli


Pacific salmon populations have declined due to human activity in the Pacific Northwest, resulting in decreased delivery of marine-derived nutrients to streams. Managers use artificial nutrient additions to increase juvenile salmon growth and survival and assume that added nutrients stimulate biofilm production, which propagates up the food web to juvenile salmon. We assessed biofilm responses (standing crop, nutrient limitation, and metabolism) to experimental additions of salmon carcass analog in tributaries of the Salmon River, Idaho in 2010 and 2011. Biofilm standing crop and nutrient limitation did not respond to analog, but primary productivity and respiration increased in the subset of streams where they were measured. Discrepancies between biofilm productivity and standing crop may occur if standing crop is constrained by physical and biological factors. Thus, conclusions about biofilm response to analog should not be based on standing crop alone and mitigation research may benefit from nutrient budgets of entire watersheds.

Included in

Biology Commons