Add this to your list of cool things we didn’t previously know about nature: Scientists working in the Wood River watershed of Southwest Alaska found that salmon play an important role in pollinating a flowering plant. How? Kneeling angelica, a 3-6 foot streamside plant, has evolved to bloom about a week after salmon return to a stream to spawn, at which point many of the salmon die or are consumed by bears and other critters. Blowflies, who pollinate the flowers by swarming the blooms, then lay eggs in the decomposing carcasses of the salmon. Those larvae emerge as adults the following year just in time to pollinate the flowers again.
Read more in Sylvia Fallon’s blog: Watching the river flow - the complex effect of stream variability on Bristol Bay’s wildlife
Pebble Mine could potentially devastate the ecology of this region, and is simply not a risk worth taking. Learn more and take action at www.stoppebble.org.
Photo: Wood River, Alaska. USGS.