Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Climate Change Leads to Fish Hybiridization

A never before seen twist of events in nature reveals an unexpected effect of climate change is hybridization between a native and non-native species. A USGS study published in Nature Climate Change examined how recent climate warming has influenced the spread of hybridization between threatened native westslope cutthroat trout and non-native rainbow trout in the Flathead River system in Montana and British Columbia, Canada. 
The study noted, over the past 30 years, hybridization rapidly spread upstream, irreversibly changing the genetic integrity of native westslope cutthroat trout populations. The rapid increase in hybridization was highly associated with climatic changes in the region. From 1978 to 2008 the rate of warming nearly tripled in the Flathead basin, resulting in earlier spring runoff, lower spring flooding and flows, and warming summer stream temperatures. 

Read more: USGS - Climate - Trout

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