Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 1142
Title: Using time series analysis to characterize evolutionary and plastic responses to environmental change: a case study of a shift toward earlier migration date in sockeye salmon
Author: Lisa G. Crozier, M. Scheuerell, Richard W. Zabel
Publication Year: 2011
Journal: American Naturalist
Volume: 178
Issue: 6
Pages: 755-773

Environmental change can shift the phenotype of an organism through either evolutionary or nongenetic processes. Despite abundant evidence of phenotypic change in response to recent climate change, we typically lack sufficient genetic data to identify the role of evolution. We present a method of using phenotypic data to characterize the hypothesized role of natural selection and environmentally driven phenotypic shifts (plasticity). We modeled historical selection and environmental predictors of interannual variation in mean population phenotype using a multivariate state-space model framework. Through model comparisons, we assessed the extent to which an estimated selection differential explained observed variation better than environmental factors alone. We applied the method to a 60-year trend toward earlier migration in Columbia River sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka, producing estimates of annual selection differentials, average realized heritability, and relative cumulative effects of selection and plasticity. We found that an evolutionary response to thermal selection was capable of explaining up to two-thirds of the phenotypic trend. Adaptive plastic responses to June river flow explain most of the remainder. This method is applicable to other populations with time series data if selection differentials are available or can be reconstructed. This method thus augments our toolbox for predicting responses to environmental change.

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