Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016CA365B

The Influence of Incubation Temperature on Aerobic Swimming Performance of Juvenile Salmonids

Institute: California
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $24,654 Total Non-Federal Funds: $6,410

Principal Investigators: Amanda Banet

Abstract: Pacific salmon populations in California have rapidly declined in the past century, in large part due to dams and water diversions that block critical habitat and increase water temperatures in remaining habitat. Recent work shows that Pacific salmon exposed to high temperatures during incubation have decreased thermal tolerance later in life. Thermal tolerance has been linked to an organism’s ability to deliver oxygen to its cells. Based on this, we hypothesize that fish exposed to high temperatures early in development will exhibit reduced aerobic performance later in life, as compared to fish incubated lower temperatures. We also hypothesize that this difference will be magnified when fish are swimming in high temperature waters. Aerobic performance is an ecologically relevant metric because it determines how much energy an organism can devote to activities related to survival and reproduction, such as foraging, growth, migration, and predator avoidance. To test our hypotheses, we will incubate Pacific salmon eggs at three different temperatures. After hatch, swimming metabolism will be measured at three different swimming trial temperatures. This project will shed light on the mechanistic underpinnings of salmonid declines in California, and will provide valuable information to help inform management decisions and guide recovery plans.