Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Climate change and the freshwater life-history of Pacific salmon
Freshwater ecosystems used by Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) in western North America will potentially undergo major changes as a consequence of climate change. Of particular importance to salmonids are the alteration of the timing, duration, and nature of the flow regime, and changes in the magnitude and timing of water temperatures. The magnitude and direction of the changes will vary widely across the distributional range of these fish. The response of Pacific salmon will depend to a large extent the affect on the individual life-history stage as well as on the timing of the transition between life-history stages. The impacts of climate change on key ecological process that influence the freshwater habitats, such as wildfire and floods, may also affect the response of salmonids. Responsible management and regulatory agencies will need to reconsider their perspective on and response to these events to potentially off-set negative consequences.
Gordie Reeves is a Research Fish Biologist in the PNW Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service. His expertise is in the freshwater ecology of anadromous salmon and trout, conservation biology of those fish, and aquatic aspects of landscape ecology. He has studied the ecology of anadromous salmon and trout in the Pacific Northwest, northern California, Idaho, and Alaska. He has published papers on the freshwater ecology of Pacific salmon and trout, effects of land management activities on the freshwater habitats of these fish, conservation plans, and dynamics of aquatic ecosystems in the PNW. He was a member of committees that developed and evaluated management options for managing federal lands in the PNW and Alaska. He currently serves as the Team Leader of the Aquatic and Land Interaction Program at the PNW Station in Corvallis and is a member of the NOAA Fisheries Technical Recovery Team for coho salmon in coastal Oregon. He has been a co-leader of the Coastal Landscape Analysis and Modeling Study, a long-term, large, interdisciplinary project to model and evaluate forest policy effects at multiple scales.