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Adaptation to sea level rise: does local adaptation influence the demography of coastal fish populations?

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This study compared the growth of two western mosquitofish Gambusia affinis populations that were previously demonstrated to have genetic adaptations that increased survival under lethal salinity exposures. The objective was to evaluate how genetic adaptations to lethal salinity stress affect population demography when exposed to sublethal salinity stress. Results indicate that chronic salinity exposure had a generally negative impact on population size, but fish originating from one of the two populations established with fish from a brackish site exhibited an increase in population size. Saltwater intrusion seems to result in reduced population size for most populations. Some populations inhabiting more saline sites, however, may develop localized adaptations, mitigating the consequences of increased salinity on population productivity.
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Keywords: Gambusia; Poeciliidae; salinity stress; saltwater intrusion

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, P.O. Box 42451 Lafayette, LA 70504, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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