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Saving salmon

In the Literature.

Here GNN posts the abstracts of two articles on salmon research related to the feature story Streams of Data.


Recovery and management options for spring/summer chinook salmon in the Columbia River basin.

Construction of four dams on the lower Snake River (in northwestern United States) between 1961 and 1975 altered salmon spawning habitat, elevated smolt and adult migration mortality, and contributed to severe declines of Snake River salmon populations. By applying a matrix model to long-term population data, we found that (i) dam passage improvements have dramatically mitigated direct mortality associated with dams; (ii) even if main stem survival were elevated to 100%, Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) would probably continue to decline toward extinction; and (iii) modest reductions in first-year mortality or estuarine mortality would reverse current population declines.

Science 2000 Nov 3;290(5493):977-9.

Rapid evolution of reproductive isolation in the wild: evidence from introduced salmon.

Colonization of new environments should promote rapid speciation as a by-product of adaptation to divergent selective regimes. Although this process of ecological speciation is known to have occurred over millennia or centuries, nothing is known about how quickly reproductive isolation actually evolves when new environments are first colonized. Using DNA microsatellites, population-specific natural tags, and phenotypic variation, we tested for reproductive isolation between two adjacent salmon populations of a common ancestry that colonized divergent reproductive environments (a river and a lake beach). We found evidence for the evolution of reproductive isolation after fewer than 13 generations.

Science 2000 Oct 20;290(5491):516-9.

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