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Articles Title: The Fish and the Forest. Author/Source: Scott M. Gende and Thomas P.

Quinn Main Points:  Carrying the carcass into the forest out of sight of other bears is a way to forestall confrontation Salmon are a crucial resource for the bears because the survival and reproductive success of these large mammals depend on the amount of fat they can deposit in the late summer and fall. Salmon-catching bears fertilize forests with partially eaten carcasses of their favorite food Once safely alone, they usually eat only the most nutritious part of the fish and discard the rest, which still contains many valuable minerals and calories. The dependence of the ecosystem on the salmon carcasses has captured the attention of fishery and forest managers, who now recognize the importance of both bears and salmon to the system 20,000 carcasses revealed that bears consumed about 25% of each captured salmon, selectively eating only the parts highest in fat content. It was thought that nutrient flow in systems moved in one direction only, driven by gravity: nutrients, in the form of leaves, invertebrates and other material, fell from the forest into rivers and creeks, flowed down stream and moved out to the ocean. The foraging of all these animals, together with leaching by rain and microbial activity, breaks down the carcasses, making the nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients available to riparian plants.

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Summary: Scientists have come to the conclusion that salmon-catching bears play a big role in the ecosystem of the forest, because they fertilize the forest with partially eaten carcasses of their favorite food. Salmon are a crucial resource for the bears because the survival and reproductive success of these large mammals depend on the amount of fat they can deposit in the late summer and fall. By killing many of the fatter salmon, carrying the nutrient-loaded fish to the forest, and abandoning the carcass with most of the biomass remaining, bears make a tremendous amount of food and nutrients available to streamside plants and animals that would not otherwise have access to this resource. The foraging of all these animals, together with leaching by rain and microbial activity, breaks down the carcasses, making the nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients available to riparian plants. My Thoughts: I found this article very interesting because I learned a lot of useful information. I learned that carrying the carcass into the forest out of sight of other bears is a way to forestall confrontation. Salmon is an important living organism in our ocean. Salmon are a crucial resource for the bears because the survival and reproductive success of these large mammals depend on the amount of fat they can deposit in the

late summer and fall. We never know how important a certain fish is to our ocean unless we search up information about them. So What? This is important because we should always be looking at ways to give nutrients to the environment. Says Who? Scott M. Gende and Thomas P. Quinn who performed experiment and wrote the article, and the scientists who study these fishes.

What If…? Bear populations are decreasing so we need to play our part to protect what is left so the forest ecosystem can keep one of its ways of getting nutrients.

What Does This Remind Me Of? This reminds me of when we were in class learning about how phytoplankton play an important role in the ocean’s ecosystem and how scientists once thought of “fertilizing” the ocean to get them to grow more.