Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Fisk, Aaron

Second Advisor

Kessel, Steven

Keywords

Acoustic Telemetry, Arctic, Food webs, Sculpin, Stable Isotopes, Trophic ecology

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Shorthorn Sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) are a common fish in the Arctic that congregate in large numbers in nearshore areas during open water periods, yet little is known about their role in arctic food webs relative to other common consumers like Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida). This study made use of stable isotope and stomach content analysis as well as acoustic telemetry to examine prey selection, diet specialization, trophic position/coupling, and movement patterns. The influence of Arctic Cod presence was also examined. Results indicate that Sculpin trophic ecology changes with total length and prey availability. Distinct movement patterns were identified that potentially represent different foraging behaviours. Sculpin changed movement patterns in the presence of high abundances of Cod, and two Cod were found in Sculpin stomachs. However, data suggests that Shorthorn Sculpin trophic ecology and movement patterns are more heavily influenced by other prey and changes in abiotic variables.

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