The Pacific Northwest of the United States has many defining features, but two of them are our vast forests and our salmon. Did you know our salmon and our forests are intimately connected? In this beautiful short film by the BBC, learn how salmon keeps forests thriving: without salmon, our forests would not exist as we know them today.
“Salmon are crucial to their coastal ecosystem like perhaps few other species on the planet. A significant portion of the nitrogen in West Coast forests has been traced back to salmon, which can travel hundreds of miles upstream to lay their eggs. The largest trees on Earth simply wouldn’t exist without salmon.” (Rolling Stone, August 5, 2015).
Unfortunately, we all know that salmon are endangered by climate change. When the streams in which salmon spawn get too warm from increased temperatures and drought, the salmon die. This year we have seen proof of that: thousands of salmon are dying before they get to their spawning grounds. “Out of more than 507,000 salmon that passed through Bonneville Dam, some 235,000 have died—a number that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries manager John North told Reuters is unprecedented.” (Think Progress, July 29, 2015).
Just another way everything is connected. And another precarious link in nature being threatened by climate change.