Title

Potential effects of climate change on marine growth and survival of Fraser River sockeye salmon

Publication Date

1995

Journal or Book Title

CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES

Abstract

Simulation results from the Canadian Climate Centre's atmospheric general circulation model (CCC GCM) coupled to a simplified mixed-layer ocean model predict that doubled atmospheric CO2 concentrations would increase northeast Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures and weaken existing north–south air pressure gradients. On the basis of predicted changes to air pressure and an empirical relationship between wind-driven upwelling and zooplankton biomass, we calculate that production of food for sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) may decrease by 5–9%. We developed empirical relationships between sea surface temperature, zooplankton biomass, adult recruitment, and terminal ocean weight for the early Stuart stock of Fraser River sockeye salmon. Our analyses show that warmer sea surface temperatures, larger adult recruitment, and lower zooplankton biomass are correlated with smaller adult sockeye. Bioenergetics modeling suggests that higher metabolic costs in warmer water coupled with lower food availability could cause the observed reductions in size. Warmer sea surface temperatures during coastal migration by juveniles were correlated with lower recruitment 2 yr later. Warmer sea surface temperatures may be a surrogate for increased levels of predation or decreased food during the juvenile stage. We speculate that Fraser sockeye will be less abundant and smaller if the climate changes as suggested by the Canadian Climate Centre's general circulation model.

DOI

10.1139/f95-854

Volume

52

Issue

12

Pages

2651-2659

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