University of Alaska Southeast
Salmon responses to climate change
A major unknown facing fisheries biologists and managers is how climate change will impact populations, species, and ecosystems. This research makes use of 40 years of data to investigate what patterns and processes are responsible for climate induced changes in the adult migration timing, survival, and adaptation of salmon from Auke Cr., AK. Migration timing in salmon is an excellent trait to measure as an ecosystem indicator because it is closely tied to individual fitness and therefore must be closely matched to optimum environmental conditions for populations to persist. The goals of this project are: 1) to quantify the effects of freshwater, oceanic, and biological covariates on adult pink salmon migration timing, 2) to quantify the effects of environmental and biological covariates on salmon marine survival, 3) to determine if there is an adaptive genetic response to selection for earlier adult pink salmon migration timing, and 4) to describe patterns of genetic diversity in adult pink salmon, and measure how genetic diversity and biocomplexity have changed as a result of phenotypic change in migration timing. Our unique, 40-year dataset makes it possible to examine salmon as an ecosystem indicator, especially with respect to the impacts of climate change. Ultimately, understanding the impact of climate change on salmonid populations and the response of these populations to climate change will be necessary for continued successful management, harvest, subsistence use, and conservation of these species.
Data and Resources
Start Date: 2011/06/01
End Date: 2014/01/01