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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:00am - 10:20am
Effects of Variability In Stream Physical and Biotic Factors on The Reproductive Success of Lake Sturgeon Acipenser Fulvescens

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AUTHORS: Kim Scribner*, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Department of Integrative Biology, Michigan State University; Kari Dammerman, Department of Integrative Biology, Michigan State University; Yen Duong, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; John Bauman, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Karen Beatty, Department of Zoology, Michigan State University, Edward Baker, Marquette Fisheries Research Station, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Natural recruitment of lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens is highly variable across years and very few larvae survive past the first year of life. To successfully restore lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes, fishery managers would benefit from information that identifies abiotic and biotic factors limiting egg and larval survival, predict where suitable habitat (and associated fish and invertebrate communities) exists, what restoration and protection actions are needed, and where actions should be targeted. We use a 15 year data set (2001-2015) from a well-studied population or lake sturgeon in the Black River, MI to characterize inter-annual variation in levels of recruitment to the larval stage. Genetic determination of parentage was used to quantify reproductive success of adults from different segments of the population that spawn at different times and locations, and associated with different physical (flow and temperature) and biotic (adult numbers and sex ratios) conditions. Levels of recruitment to the dispersing larval stage have varied 40 fold over the period of observation. During the early portion of the time series, the effective number of spawning adults remained relative constant across years suggesting in years of comparatively lower or higher recruitment, rates of mortality at the egg and larval stage were fairly equitable among spawning adults. In more recent years, variation in stream flow and temperatures has become greater, leading to greater temporal autocorrelation in adult reproductive success. Variation in female reproductive success in recent years is attributed to temperature, discharge, group size, and operational sex ratio which are increasingly variable in riverine systems.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:00am - 10:20am EST
Emerald B