Trout and lamprey symbiotic relationship

What is the symbiotic relationship between the trout and lamprey

trout and lamprey symbiotic relationship

Symbiosis Relationships The way this relationship works is the lampreys attach themselves to the trout and continually suck blood out of them. Symbiotic Relationship. Picture. Lake Trout and Sea Lamprey. An example of a parasitism in Lake Superior is the relationship between the sea lamprey and the . The relationship between sea lamprey and other fish species is a parasitic symbiotic walleye, northern pike, burbot, lake trout, rainbow trout, chubs, some catfish and P. marinus, Sea Lamprey, have a commensal symbiotic relationship with.

trout and lamprey symbiotic relationship

Although more than non-native species have entered the Great Lakes, the sea lamprey is considered the most harmful. Lampreys are eel-like animals that have naked, scaleless bodies see photo below.

During part of their life cycle, sea lampreys are active predators, and are parasitic, feeding only on the blood of fish.

Symbiotic Relationships by Danielle Gonsalves on Prezi

They attach to their host, usually a Lake Trout, and extract blood and tissue fluids. They do not usually kill their prey, but feed until the animal is weak and then detach. Starting in the 's, sea lampreys began to invade the upper Great Lakes, and their predation, combined with fishery exploitation, caused the collapse of most lake trout populations throughout the basin.

They likely entered Lake Ontario from the Atlantic Ocean through the New York State barge canal system in the 's, and entered the upper Great lakes after the Welland Canal was completed inallowing passage past Niagara Falls.


By the 's, predation by sea lampreys and overfishing combined to exterminate lake trout in Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Michigan, and depleted their numbers in Lake Superior. These declines caused economic devastation and a severe imbalance of predator and prey species.

trout and lamprey symbiotic relationship

The fish populations of the lakes have changed dramatically in the 20th century; changes were wrought at first by overfishing and then by the introduction of exotic species. Most notable of the latter was the parasitic sea lamprey, which probably entered the lakes via the Erie Canal and spread following the completion of the new Welland Ship Canal in The sea lamprey virtually eliminated lake trout from Lakes Huron and Michigan. Canadian and American government programs, instituted in the s, have reduced the number of lampreys.

The decline in the lake-trout population allowed another invader, the alewife, to flourish, unconstrained by any natural predators. Alewives entered the lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Ship Canal.

trout and lamprey symbiotic relationship

Alewife populations have been brought under control by the coho salmon, imported into the lakes in the s, which has become the dominant predator and an important sport fish. No research has shown that sea lamprey have particular favorites in their host of choice.

Symbiotic Relationships in the Natural Environment: Parasitic Lampreys

If you would like a better understanding of how parasitic relationship work click on these examples, tooth decaying bacteria and Aspergillus flavus fungi. In a commensalistic symbiotic relationship neither species is affected by the other. Another interaction sea lamprey have is with humans. Humans are their most common and known predator for this parasitic fish Cherry, In other countries, like in Europe, Asia and India, people will use them in their cooking Cherry, There have been many examples in places like the Great Lakes and other places in the United States where people try to kill sea lamprey off.

This situation typically occurs when the sea lampreys decrease a fish population because they are also affecting the industries that would be selling those fish.

trout and lamprey symbiotic relationship

Between the two of these factors the population of the sea lamprey decreased and the population of other fish species increased. To keep the population of sea lamprey to a minimum there have been federal and state programs and treatments created. Within the Great Lakes region a small amount of sea lampreys have been found carrying flat or roundworms for a portion of their life Cherry, This is important because sea lamprey are bringing more invasive species into ecosystems where they could affect the fish populations.