Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8831
Title: Chinook salmon emergence phenotypes: describing the relationships between temperature, emergence timing, and condition factor in a reaction norm framework
Author: Abby E. Fuhrman, Donald A. Larsen, E. Ashley Steel, Graham Young, Brian R. Beckman
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
DOI: 10.1111/eff.12351
Keywords: salmon,incubation,emergence timing,temperature,phenotypic plasticity,reaction norms

Water temperature can have a profound influence on development and distribution of aquatic species. Salmon are particularly vulnerable to temperature changes because their reproductive and early development life phases are spent in freshwater river systems where temperature fluctuates widely both daily and seasonally.  Flow regulation downstream of dams can also cause localized temperature regime changes, which in turn may spur local adaptation of early life history traits. In a common garden laboratory incubation experiment, we exposed Spring Chinook salmon embryos to four temperature regimes: warm stable, cold stable, daily variation, and below dam.  We found that fry from warmer thermal regimes (below dam and warm stable) emerged earlier both in terms of calendar date and temperature units, and that warmer treatments caused fry to emerge less developed.  There was also a significant effect of family on both emergence timing, and development level at emergence. By combining measurements of physiological and behavioral traits at emergence and interpreting them within a reaction norm framework, we can better understand which populations might be more vulnerable to altered thermal regimes.


This is a manuscript generated from the 1st chapter of my Master's Thesis completed at the University of Washington in 2015.

Theme: Recovery and rebuilding of marine and coastal species
Foci: Develop methods to use physiological, biological and behavioral information to predict population-level processes.