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Title: Beyond the mean: the role of variability in predicting ecological effects of stream temperature on salmon

Author: Steel, E. Ashley; Tillotson, Abby; Larson, Donald A.; Fullerton, Aimee H.; Denton, Keith P.; Beckman, Brian R.;

Date: 2012

Source: Ecosphere. 3(11): article 104. 11 p

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Alterations in variance of riverine thermal regimes have been observed and are predicted with climate change and human development. We tested whether changes in daily or seasonal thermal variability, aside from changes in mean temperature, could have biological consequences by exposing Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) eggs to eight experimental thermal regimes. Thermal variance impacted both emergence timing and development at emergence. Further, genetics influenced the magnitude of that response. Ecological implications include: (1) changes in thermal variability, independent of warming, have the potential to alter the timing of life history processes, (2) the commonly-used degree day accumulation model is not sufficient to predict how organisms respond to altered temperature regimes, and (3) there are likely to be genetic differences in how individuals and populations respond to future water temperature regimes.

Keywords: Chinook salmon, climate change, dams, degree days, egg incubation, emergence, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, phenology

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Steel, E. Ashley; Tillotson, Abby; Larson, Donald A.; Fullerton, Aimee H.; Denton, Keith P.; Beckman, Brian R. 2012. Beyond the mean: the role of variability in predicting ecological effects of stream temperature on salmon. Ecosphere. 3(11): article 104. 11 p.

 


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