Wilson, S.M., Moore, J.W., Ward, E.J., Kinsel, C.W., Anderson, J.H., Buehrens, T.W., Carr-Harris, C.N., Cochran, P.C., Davies, T.D., Downen, M.R., Godbout, L., Lisi, P.J., Litz, M.N.C., Patterson, D.A., Selbie, D.T., Sloat, M.R., Suring, E.J., Tattam, I.A., Wyatt, G.J.

Publication Date

01 May 2023

Publication Name

Nature Ecology & Evolution

Monday June 19, 2023

Global climate change is shifting the timing of life-cycle events, sometimes resulting in phenological mismatches between predators and prey. Phenological shifts and subsequent mismatches may be consistent across populations, or they could vary unpredictably across populations within the same species. For anadromous Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), juveniles from thousands of locally adapted populations migrate from diverse freshwater habitats to the Pacific Ocean every year. Both the timing of freshwater migration and ocean arrival, relative to nearshore prey (phenological match/mismatch), can control marine survival and population dynamics. Here we examined phenological change of 66 populations across six anadromous Pacific salmon species throughout their range in western North America with the longest time series spanning 1951–2019. We show that different salmon species have different rates of phenological change but that there was substantial within-species variation that was not correlated with changing environmental conditions or geographic patterns. Moreover, outmigration phenologies have not tracked shifts in the timing of marine primary productivity, potentially increasing the frequency of future phenological mismatches. Understanding population responses to mismatches with prey are an important part of characterizing overall population-specific climate vulnerability.

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