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Natural resource decision makers are challenged to adapt management to a changing climate while balancing short-term management goals with long-term changes in aquatic systems. Adaptation will require developing resilient ecosystems and resilient management systems. Decision makers already have tools to develop or ensure resilient aquatic systems and fisheries such as managing harvest and riparian zones. Because fisheries management often interacts with multiple stakeholders, adaptation strategies involving fisheries managers and other partners focused on land use, policy, and human systems, coupled with long-term monitoring, are necessary for resilient systems. We show how agencies and organizations are adapting...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fisheries
Hamilton and Miller (2016) provide an interesting and provocative discussion of how hybridization and introgression can promote evolutionary potential in the face of climate change. They argue that hybridization—mating between individuals from genetically distinct populations—can alleviate inbreeding depression and promote adaptive introgression and evolutionary rescue. We agree that deliberate intraspecific hybridization (mating between individuals of the same species) is an underused management tool for increasing fitness in inbred populations (i.e., genetic rescue; Frankham 2015; Whiteley et al. 2015). The potential risks and benefits of assisted gene flow have been discussed in the literature, and an emerging...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
Understanding how climatic variation influences ecological and evolutionary processes is crucial for informed conservation decision-making. Nevertheless, few studies have measured how climatic variation influences genetic diversity within populations or how genetic diversity is distributed across space relative to future climatic stress. Here, we tested whether patterns of genetic diversity (allelic richness) were related to climatic variation and habitat features in 130 bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) populations from 24 watersheds (i.e., ~4–7th order river subbasins) across the Columbia River Basin, USA. We then determined whether bull trout genetic diversity was related to climate vulnerability at the watershed...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
Vegetation green-up signals the timing of available nutritious plants and shrubs providing high-quality forage for ungulates. In this study, we characterized spatial and temporal patterns of spring phenology and explored how they were related to preceding temperature and moisture conditions. We tested correlations between late winter weather and indicators of the onset and the length of the spring growing period with 250-m resolution time-series satellite data (2001 – 2013) for Wyoming, USA. In western Wyoming mountains, drier and warmer conditions during late winter were associated with earlier spring green-up onset of growth in forests, shrubs, and grasses. In the northeast mountains, onset of spring correlated...
Changes in the Earth’s climate are expected to impact freshwater habitats around the world by altering water temperatures, water levels, and streamflow. These changes will have consequences for inland fish – those found within lakes, rivers, streams, canals, reservoirs, and other landlocked waters – which are important for food, commerce, and recreation around the world. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2011, 33.1 million people fished and spent $41.8 billion in the United States alone. Yet to date, little comprehensive research has been conducted to investigate the effects of climate change on inland fisheries at a large scale. The aim of this project was to summarize the current state of knowledge,...
Pacific salmon migration timing can drive population productivity, ecosystem dynamics, and human harvest. Nevertheless, little is known about long-term variation in salmon migration timing for multiple species across broad regions. We used long-term data for five Pacific salmon species throughout rapidly warming southeast Alaska to describe long-term changes in salmon migration timing, interannual phenological synchrony, relationships between climatic variation and migratory timing, and to test whether long-term changes in migration timing are related to glaciation in headwater streams. Temporal changes in the median date of salmon migration timing varied widely across species. Most sockeye populations are migrating...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
Evolutionary and ecological consequences of hybridization between native and invasive species are notoriously complicated because patterns of selection acting on non-native alleles can vary throughout the genome and across environments. Rapid advances in genomics now make it feasible to assess locus-specific and genome-wide patterns of natural selection acting on invasive introgression within and among natural populations occupying diverse environments. We quantified genome-wide patterns of admixture across multiple independent hybrid zones of native westslope cutthroat trout and invasive rainbow trout, the world's most widely introduced fish, by genotyping 339 individuals from 21 populations using 9380 species-diagnostic...
Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure is important for conservation management because it can reveal how human stressors influence population connectivity, genetic diversity and persistence. We used riverscape genetics modelling to assess whether climatic and habitat variables were related to neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation (population-specific and pairwise FST) within five metapopulations (79 populations, 4583 individuals) of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Columbia River Basin, USA. Using 151 putatively neutral and 29 candidate adaptive SNP loci, we found that climate-related variables (winter precipitation, summer maximum temperature,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Molecular Ecology
It is well understood that plant phenology is sensitive to climate, however it is not so clear exactly how climate change might alter the spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation phenology. Satellite remote sensing offers a unique vantage point from which to observe phenological cycles across large regions. Although ubiquitous, cycles of green-up and brown-down are complex and exhibit great variability across space and time. Herbivore species such as elk, moose, and deer depend on the availability of herbaceous plants and deciduous shrubs for forage. These vegetation types are most nutritious for herbivores from early season to peak green-up, so characterizing vegetation cycles, or phenology, over the long term...
Climate change vulnerability assessments (CCVAs) are important tools to plan for and mitigate potential impacts of climate change. However, CCVAs often lack scientific rigor, which can ultimately lead to poor conservation prioritization and associated ecological and economic costs. We discuss the need to improve comparability and consistency of CCVAs and either validate their findings or improve assessment of CCVA uncertainty and sensitivity to methodological assumptions.
The Green Wave Hypothesis posits that herbivore migration manifests in response to waves of spring green-up (i.e., green-wave surfing). Nonetheless, empirical support for the Green Wave Hypothesis is mixed, and a framework for understanding variation in surfing is lacking. In a population of migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), 31% surfed plant phenology in spring as well as a theoretically perfect surfer, and 98% surfed better than random. Green-wave surfing varied among individuals, and was unrelated to age or energetic state. Instead, the greenscape, which we define as the order, rate, and duration of green-up along migratory routes, was the primary factor influencing surfing. Our results indicate that...
Natural selection may result in local adaptation to different environmental conditions across the range of a species. Understanding local adaptation, in turn, informs management decisions such as translocation to restore locally-extinct populations. We used a landscape genomics approach to detect genetic signatures of selection related to climatic variation among desert bighorn sheep populations across their indigenous range in the western United States. This approach allowed us to investigate broad patterns of both neutral and adaptive genetic variation across very different environments. Analyses suggested that ancestry and isolation by distance were the most significant forces driving genetic variation in desert...
Scenario planning is one decision support method that can help natural resource managers incorporate information about uncertain future changes in climate into management decisions. To provide a proof of concept of the value of scenario planning in helping managers prepare for climate change, we conducted a pilot scenario planning effort aimed at helping state agencies in the northeastern United States develop climate-informed moose management goals and actions. To encourage participation by wildlife managers, we provided several opportunities for them to learn about scenario planning and examples of its application in natural resource management. We shared this information via guidance documents on incorporating...
Understanding the future impacts of climate and land use change are critical for long-term biodiversity conservation. We developed and compared two indices to assess the vulnerability of stream fish in Missouri, USA based on species environmental tolerances, rarity, range size, dispersal ability and on the average connectivity of the streams occupied by each species. These two indices differed in how environmental tolerance was classified (i.e., vulnerability to habitat alteration, changes in stream temperature, and changes to flow regimes). Environmental tolerance was classified based on measured species responses to habitat alteration, and extremes in stream temperatures and flow conditions for one index, while...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Indicators
Climate change is an additional stressor in a complex suite of threats facing freshwater biodiversity, particularly for cold-water fishes. Research addressing the consequences of climate change on cold-water fish has generally focused on temperature limits defining spatial distributions, largely ignoring how climatic variation influences population dynamics in the context of other existing stressors.We used long-term data from 92 populations of bull trout Salvelinus confluentus – one of North America's most cold-adapted fishes – to quantify additive and interactive effects of climate, invasive species and land use on population dynamics (abundance, variability and growth rate).Populations were generally depressed,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
Abstract (from Hybridization between invasive and native species, a significant threat to worldwide biodiversity, is predicted to increase due to climate-induced expansions of invasive species. Long-term research and monitoring are crucial for understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that modulate the effects of invasive species. Using a large, multidecade genetics dataset (N = 582 sites, 12,878 individuals) with high-resolution climate predictions and extensive stocking records, we evaluate the spatiotemporal dynamics of hybridization between native cutthroat trout and invasive rainbow trout, the world's most widely introduced invasive fish,...
Abstract (from Climate is a critical driver of many fish populations, assemblages, and aquatic communities. However, direct observational studies of climate change impacts on North American inland fishes are rare. In this synthesis, we (1) summarize climate trends that may influence North American inland fish populations and assemblages, (2) compile 31 peer-reviewed studies of documented climate change effects on North American inland fish populations and assemblages, and (3) highlight four case studies representing a variety of observed responses ranging from warmwater systems in the southwestern and southeastern United States to coldwater systems...
Abstract (from American Fisheries Society): Climate change is a global persistent threat to fish and fish habitats throughout North America. Climate-induced modification of environmental regimes, including changes in streamflow, water temperature, salinity, storm surges, and habitat connectivity can change fish physiology, disrupt spawning cues, cause fish extinctions and invasions, and alter fish community structure. Reducing greenhouse emissions remains the primary mechanism to slow the pace of climate change, but local and regional management agencies and stakeholders have developed an arsenal of adaptation strategies to help partially mitigate the effects of climate change on fish. We summarize common stressors...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Climate change vulnerability assessments (CCVAs) are valuable tools for assessing species’ vulnerability to climatic changes, yet failure to include measures of adaptive capacity and to account for sources of uncertainty may limit their effectiveness. Here, we provide a more comprehensive CCVA approach that incorporates all three elements used for assessing species’ climate change vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. We illustrate our approach using case studies of two threatened salmonids with different life histories – anadromous steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and non-anadromous bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) – within the Columbia River Basin, USA. We identified general patterns...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
Despite increasing concern that climate change may negatively impact trout—a globally distributed group of fish with major economic, ecological, and cultural value—a synthetic assessment of empirical data quantifying relationships between climatic variation and trout ecology does not exist. We conducted a systematic review to describe how temporal variation in temperature and streamflow influences trout ecology in freshwater ecosystems. Few studies (n = 42) have quantified relationships between temperature or streamflow and trout demography, growth, or phenology, and nearly all estimates (96 %) were for Salvelinus fontinalis and Salmo trutta. Only seven studies used temporal data to quantify climate-driven changes...

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