Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Formula For Predicting Climate Change Impact On Salmon Stocks Established

Date:
November 21, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Scientists have found a way to accurately predict the impact of climate change on imperiled Pacific salmon stocks that could result in better management strategies.

University of British Columbia researchers have found a way to accurately predict the impact of climate change on imperiled Pacific salmon stocks that could result in better management strategies.

Related Articles


The findings, among the first to quantify a relationship between river temperature and salmon mortality rate, are published in the current issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

While climate change and rising river temperatures have been linked to dwindling salmon stocks, other factors have made it difficult to measure the exact impact – these including diseases, fisheries and man-made structures such as dams and fish ladders.

"Calculating the affect of climate change on animal fitness has been particularly challenging for scientists," says lead author Tony Farrell, who is jointly appointed in the Dept. of Zoology and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

"Animals have a thermal window, or high and low temperatures between which they are at their best for aerobic activities. Our study has shown that high temperatures push certain sockeye salmon stocks beyond their thermal window, resulting in cardiovascular failure and death," says Farrell.

Led by Farrell and Prof. Scott Hinch in the Dept. of Forest Sciences and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, the UBC team has been studying Pacific salmon using biotelemetry trackers for a decade. They have identified the optimal thermal windows for several species of Pacific salmon, which coincide with the historic temperatures the fish would have encountered while migrating in the river.

In 2004, unusually warm river temperatures and earlier entry into the Fraser River system contributed to the "disappearance" of 70 per cent of the Weaver Creek sockeye stock.

"We analyzed river temperature data and the sockeye's migration dates and found that almost half of the population likely experienced temperatures that would cause a complete collapse of aerobic scope," says Farrell.

"In contrast, the Gates Creek sockeye stock, which have a higher thermal window, experienced few problems with the same high river temperatures that year."

In further investigations, the UBC team captured and placed individual fish in holding tanks of varying temperatures to simulate traversing different river temperatures before releasing them simultaneously back to the migratory run. Fish released from a high holding temperature were half as successful as those from colder environments at reaching their spawning grounds.

In a separate study, fish were intercepted during migration and implanted with biotelemetry trackers. None of the tracked salmon survived after release at river temperatures above the thermal window (at 19.5 degrees Celsius). Fish released at a cooler river temperature – one within the thermal window – later in the summer had much greater survival rates.

"This study shows that an increase over the past 50 years of 1.8 degrees Celsius in the Fraser River's peak summer temperatures is too much too fast for some salmon stocks," says Farrell.

"It also shows that climate change affects even the same species differently because individual populations may have adapted to their respective environments. As a result, we must develop strategies based on population – or even watershed – to predict, manage and conserve stocks."

Farrell adds that the same concepts may be applied beyond salmon management as another recent study co-authored by Farrell and published in the journal Science has revealed similar findings for fish and squid from the Atlantic Ocean.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Formula For Predicting Climate Change Impact On Salmon Stocks Established." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112124416.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, November 21). Formula For Predicting Climate Change Impact On Salmon Stocks Established. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112124416.htm
University of British Columbia. "Formula For Predicting Climate Change Impact On Salmon Stocks Established." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112124416.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Giant Panda Goes Walkabout in Southwest China

Giant Panda Goes Walkabout in Southwest China

AFP (Mar. 6, 2015) — A giant panda goes walkabout alone at night in southwest China. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nesting Bald Eagle Covered in Snow Up to Its Neck

Nesting Bald Eagle Covered in Snow Up to Its Neck

Buzz60 (Mar. 6, 2015) — The Pennsylvania State Game Commission captured amazing shots of a nesting bald eagle who stayed on its nest during a snowstorm, even when the snow piled all the way up to its neck. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Extinct' Bird Isn't Extinct At All, Scientists Find

'Extinct' Bird Isn't Extinct At All, Scientists Find

Buzz60 (Mar. 6, 2015) — Scientists rediscover a bird thought to be extinct, so we may be able to cross it off the "Gone For Good" list. Sean Dowling (@seandowlingtv) has more details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lack of Snow Pushes Alaska Sled Dog Race North

Lack of Snow Pushes Alaska Sled Dog Race North

AP (Mar. 6, 2015) — A shortage of snow has forced Alaska&apos;s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to move 300 miles north to Fairbanks. The ceremonial start through downtown Anchorage will take place this weekend, using snow stockpiled earlier this winter. (March 6) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins