Can local adaptation save sockeye salmon from climate change?

3 August 2012

Dr. Erika Eliason, Postdoctoral Fellow with Frank Seebacher

Every year, millions of sockeye salmon return to the Fraser River (BC, Canada) toperform their once-in-a-lifetime upriver spawning migration. There are over 100 geographically and genetically distinct populations within the Fraser Riverwatershed, each of which experiences unique upriver migration conditions. Climate change-induced increases in summer river temperature have been associated with exceptionally high mortality in migrating salmon, raising conservation concerns. This research examined thermal tolerance and local adaptation across sockeye salmon populations. Fraser River sockeye salmon populations appear to have physiologically adapted to their local upriver migration environment. In addition, some populations may be more susceptible to continued river warming, which has clear conservation concerns for biodiversity.

Time: 1-2pm

Location: DT Anderson Lecture Theatre, A08