Marlene Wagner

Current position: PhD student


BSc Biology (The Evergreen State College)

MSc Wildlife Biology (Humboldt State University)



Pacific salmon provide a complex cross-ecosystem link between the ocean, freshwater and terrestrial systems. When marine-derived nutrients from spawning salmon are transferred to riparian forests through various food web pathways, they increase invertebrate abundance and enhance plant structure, thereby subsidizing resources that are important to birds.

I am surveying riparian forests along 14 discrete streams containing a wide range of salmon biomass to test if the annual spawning event influences the density and diversity, habitat use, and productivity of breeding songbirds.  This work will further elucidate the holistic ecological importance of salmon to terrestrial ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest, and expand on current ideas regarding spatial subsidies in landscape ecology.