WILDLIFE ART JOURNAL: The notion of “Salmon in the Trees” may seem like an odd title but for those who live in the Tongass and other rainforests sheltering salmon spawning streams, your book title is a well-known adage, and comes from the realization of how inter-reated the land and marine environment are. How did that sense of connection become instilled in you?
AMY GULICK: A while back, I read a scientific article that talked about this remarkable connection between salmon and trees. It goes like this: salmon bring the ocean nutrients with them in their bodies into their spawning streams. Bears pluck the salmon from the streams and deliver them to the forest floor, and the trees absorb these nutrients through their roots. Scientists have actually been able to trace a particular form of marine nitrogen (nitrogen-15) in trees near salmon streams that links back to the fish. It was such a bizarre and unexpected concept that I knew I had to go to the Tongass in Southeast Alaska, photograph it, and tell this unique story. Watching millions of wild salmon swim into the forest, and seeing lots of bears carry the fish into the forest, this connection between salmon and trees becomes obvious. I knew that if I could help people understand this one connection, then they would understand the whole ecology of the temperate rain forest in Alaska, and perhaps they would start to question any activities that are damaging to what the salmon, bears, trees, eagles,...
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Post Date:December 14th, 2010
'Photographer Amy Gulick celebrates the northern Pacific rainforest with her new book 'Salmon In The Trees.'