Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Degrees: BSc, University of Victoria, PhD Simon Fraser University
My PhD was on food web dynamics and trophic cascades in low order streams on the central coast of British Columbia. My research specifically examined periphyton and invertebrates in streams dominated by pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon. Carcasses provide important nutrient subsidies, in the form of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, to potentially nutrient limited coastal watersheds. These nutrients have been shown to have positive impacts on periphyton and stream invertebrate communities in experimental streams but this has yet to be tested on a wide range of natural coastal stream sites. I surveyed 16 different watersheds spanning 45 km testing whether periphyton growth and invertebrate density and diversity are positively linked to salmon biomass. With this information and knowledge gained from other students working in the area, we tested the potential positive feedback loop proposed between carcass density, the nutritional quality of benthic invertebrates and juvenile coho growth rate and survival.
Nelson, M.C., Hocking, M.D., Harding, J.N., Harding, J.M.S. & Reynolds, J.D. (2015). Quantifying the effects of stream habitat on populations of breeding Pacific salmon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences 72, 1469-1476.
Harding, J.N., Harding, J.M.S. & Reynolds, J.D. (2014). Movers and shakers: nutrient subsides and benthic disturbance predict biofilm biomass and stable isotopes in coastal streams. Freshwater Biology 59, 1361-1377. doi:10.1111/fwb.12351.
Harding, J.N., & Reynolds, J.D. (2014). Opposing forces: evaluating multiple ecological roles of Pacific salmon in coast stream ecosystems. Ecosphere 5, Article 157, 1-22.
Swain, N.R., Hocking, M.D., Harding, J.N., & Reynolds, J.D. (2014). Effects of salmon on the diet and condition of stream-resident sculpins. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71, 521-532. dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2013-0159