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Why Trees and Plants Need Salmon

If you enjoy fishing you probably know when the salmon start heading up stream in the fall to reproduce. But what happens after the salmon spawn and die?

Salmon feed in the depths of the Great Lakes and swim up rivers and streams all around Michigan to reproduce and ultimately die.

Scientists say the salmon become fertilizers for trees and plants along the river, linking the bottom of the Great Lakes to the tops of the trees.

“It’s just sort of turned into this elegant example that shows the interconnectedness of the environment,” said Dr. Philip Willink, former head research biologist at the John G. Shedd Aquarium.

The salmon research was conducted on the West Coast and in Alaska, but scientists say it happens wherever salmon spawn.