Mar 3, 2015

The cold-water climate shield: delineating refugia for preserving salmonid fishes through the 21st century

Global Change Biology
Daniel J IsaakMatthew C Groce

Abstract

The distribution and future fate of ectothermic organisms in a warming world will be dictated by thermalscapes across landscapes. That is particularly true for stream fishes and cold-water species like trout, salmon, and char that are already constrained to high elevations and latitudes. The extreme climates in those environments also preclude invasions by most non-native species, so identifying especially cold habitats capable of absorbing future climate change while still supporting native populations would highlight important refugia. By coupling crowd-sourced biological datasets with high-resolution stream temperature scenarios, we delineate network refugia across >250 000 stream km in the Northern Rocky Mountains for two native salmonids-bull trout (BT) and cutthroat trout (CT). Under both moderate and extreme climate change scenarios, refugia with high probabilities of trout population occupancy (>0.9) were predicted to exist (33-68 BT refugia; 917-1425 CT refugia). Most refugia are on public lands (>90%) where few currently have protected status in National Parks or Wilderness Areas (<15%). Forecasts of refuge locations could enable protection of key watersheds and provide a foundation for climate smart planning of conse...Continue Reading

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References

  • References16
  • Citations16

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Salmo salar
Buffaloes
Salmo clarki
Environment
Salvelinus confluentus
Salmon
Fish <Chondrichthyes>
Salmonidae
Salmon allergenic extract
Zebrafish

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