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K-State Today

October 12, 2023

Allison Pease to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Allison Pease, assistant professor at the University of Missouri, will present "Migratory Snook and Tarpon Connect Food Webs from Coastal Wetlands to Tropical Rainforests in The Usumacinta River, Mexico" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, in 221 Ackert Hall.

The Usumacinta River is one of the largest undammed rivers in the Americas, and it drains part of the most expansive remaining rainforest north of the Amazon. In this system, Snook and Atlantic Tarpon move from coastal habitats of the southern Gulf of Mexico farther inland than is possible in many other regions where they have been studied. Pease analyzed stable isotope ratios of snook and tarpon and compared them to values for resident prey species at seven sites across two seasons. Compared to less-mobile consumers, snook and tarpon showed unique isotopic values suggesting movement across local food webs from delta lagoons to forested tributary streams. For this study, she used otolith microchemistry to assess habitat use. Based on lifetime Sr:Ca series from otoliths, 97% of Common Snook in our study showed evidence of riverine, or freshwater, habitat use and 85% showed distinct transitions among habitat types. This work highlights the importance of river connectivity for supporting diverse food webs and valuable fisheries resources in large tropical rivers.

To visit with Pease, please contact Sophia Bonjour at sbonjour@k-state.edu.