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Costs of living for juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in an increasingly warming and invaded world

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Rapid environmental change in freshwater ecosystems has created a need to understand the interactive effects of multiple stressors, with temperature and invasive predators identified as key threats to imperiled fish species. We tested the separate and interactive effects of water temperature and predation by non-native smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) on the lethal (mortality) and sublethal (behavior, physiology, and growth) effects for juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in seminatural stream channel experiments. Over 48 h trials, there was no difference in direct predation with warmer temperatures, but significant interactive effects on sublethal responses of juvenile salmon. Warmer temperatures resulted in significantly stronger and more variable antipredator responses (surface shoaling and swimming activity), while physiological indicators (plasma glucose, plasma cortisol) suggested suppression of physiological mechanisms in response to the combined stressors. These patterns corresponded with additive negative growth in predation, temperature, and combined treatments. Our results suggest that chronic increases in temperature may not increase direct predation over short periods, but can result in significant sublethal costs with negative implications for long-term development, disease resistance, and subsequent size-selective mortality of Pacific salmon.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. 2: US Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research Center, 6505 NE 65th Street, Seattle, WA 98115, USA.

Publication date: 2012-10-05

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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