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      Climate vulnerability assessment for Pacific salmon and steelhead in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

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          Abstract

          Major ecological realignments are already occurring in response to climate change. To be successful, conservation strategies now need to account for geographical patterns in traits sensitive to climate change, as well as climate threats to species-level diversity. As part of an effort to provide such information, we conducted a climate vulnerability assessment that included all anadromous Pacific salmon and steelhead ( Oncorhynchus spp.) population units listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Using an expert-based scoring system, we ranked 20 attributes for the 28 listed units and 5 additional units. Attributes captured biological sensitivity, or the strength of linkages between each listing unit and the present climate; climate exposure, or the magnitude of projected change in local environmental conditions; and adaptive capacity, or the ability to modify phenotypes to cope with new climatic conditions. Each listing unit was then assigned one of four vulnerability categories. Units ranked most vulnerable overall were Chinook ( O. tshawytscha) in the California Central Valley, coho ( O. kisutch) in California and southern Oregon, sockeye ( O. nerka) in the Snake River Basin, and spring-run Chinook in the interior Columbia and Willamette River Basins. We identified units with similar vulnerability profiles using a hierarchical cluster analysis. Life history characteristics, especially freshwater and estuary residence times, interplayed with gradations in exposure from south to north and from coastal to interior regions to generate landscape-level patterns within each species. Nearly all listing units faced high exposures to projected increases in stream temperature, sea surface temperature, and ocean acidification, but other aspects of exposure peaked in particular regions. Anthropogenic factors, especially migration barriers, habitat degradation, and hatchery influence, have reduced the adaptive capacity of most steelhead and salmon populations. Enhancing adaptive capacity is essential to mitigate for the increasing threat of climate change. Collectively, these results provide a framework to support recovery planning that considers climate impacts on the majority of West Coast anadromous salmonids.

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          Ocean acidification impairs olfactory discrimination and homing ability of a marine fish.

          The persistence of most coastal marine species depends on larvae finding suitable adult habitat at the end of an offshore dispersive stage that can last weeks or months. We tested the effects that ocean acidification from elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) could have on the ability of larvae to detect olfactory cues from adult habitats. Larval clownfish reared in control seawater (pH 8.15) discriminated between a range of cues that could help them locate reef habitat and suitable settlement sites. This discriminatory ability was disrupted when larvae were reared in conditions simulating CO(2)-induced ocean acidification. Larvae became strongly attracted to olfactory stimuli they normally avoided when reared at levels of ocean pH that could occur ca. 2100 (pH 7.8) and they no longer responded to any olfactory cues when reared at pH levels (pH 7.6) that might be attained later next century on a business-as-usual carbon-dioxide emissions trajectory. If acidification continues unabated, the impairment of sensory ability will reduce population sustainability of many marine species, with potentially profound consequences for marine diversity.
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            Assessing the effects of climate change on aquatic invasive species.

            Different components of global environmental change are typically studied and managed independently, although there is a growing recognition that multiple drivers often interact in complex and nonadditive ways. We present a conceptual framework and empirical review of the interactive effects of climate change and invasive species in freshwater ecosystems. Climate change is expected to result in warmer water temperatures, shorter duration of ice cover, altered streamflow patterns, increased salinization, and increased demand for water storage and conveyance structures. These changes will alter the pathways by which non-native species enter aquatic systems by expanding fish-culture facilities and water gardens to new areas and by facilitating the spread of species during floods. Climate change will influence the likelihood of new species becoming established by eliminating cold temperatures or winter hypoxia that currently prevent survival and by increasing the construction of reservoirs that serve as hotspots for invasive species. Climate change will modify the ecological impacts of invasive species by enhancing their competitive and predatory effects on native species and by increasing the virulence of some diseases. As a result of climate change, new prevention and control strategies such as barrier construction or removal efforts may be needed to control invasive species that currently have only moderate effects or that are limited by seasonally unfavorable conditions. Although most researchers focus on how climate change will increase the number and severity of invasions, some invasive coldwater species may be unable to persist under the new climate conditions. Our findings highlight the complex interactions between climate change and invasive species that will influence how aquatic ecosystems and their biota will respond to novel environmental conditions.
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              Concerning RNA-guided gene drives for the alteration of wild populations.

              Gene drives may be capable of addressing ecological problems by altering entire populations of wild organisms, but their use has remained largely theoretical due to technical constraints. Here we consider the potential for RNA-guided gene drives based on the CRISPR nuclease Cas9 to serve as a general method for spreading altered traits through wild populations over many generations. We detail likely capabilities, discuss limitations, and provide novel precautionary strategies to control the spread of gene drives and reverse genomic changes. The ability to edit populations of sexual species would offer substantial benefits to humanity and the environment. For example, RNA-guided gene drives could potentially prevent the spread of disease, support agriculture by reversing pesticide and herbicide resistance in insects and weeds, and control damaging invasive species. However, the possibility of unwanted ecological effects and near-certainty of spread across political borders demand careful assessment of each potential application. We call for thoughtful, inclusive, and well-informed public discussions to explore the responsible use of this currently theoretical technology.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: InvestigationRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Visualization
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Investigation
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                24 July 2019
                2019
                : 14
                : 7
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, Washington, United States of America
                [2 ] Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Monterey, California, United States of America
                [3 ] Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Santa Cruz, California, United States of America
                [4 ] Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, United States of America
                [5 ] Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Corvallis, Oregon, United States of America
                [6 ] Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America
                [7 ] Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America
                [8 ] ECS Federal, Inc. Under Contract to Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America
                Universidade de Aveiro, PORTUGAL
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: MWN is employed by a commercial contracting company, ECS Federal, Inc in support of NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

                [¤]

                Current address: Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington, United States of America

                Article
                PONE-D-19-03525
                10.1371/journal.pone.0217711
                6655584
                31339895

                This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 5, Pages: 49
                Product
                Funding
                ECS Federal, Inc in support of NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology provided salary for author MWN, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of these authors are articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Fish
                Osteichthyes
                Salmon
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Aquatic Environments
                Freshwater Environments
                Fresh Water
                Earth Sciences
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences
                Aquatic Environments
                Freshwater Environments
                Fresh Water
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Climatology
                Climate Change
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Behavior
                Animal Behavior
                Animal Migration
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Behavior
                Animal Behavior
                Animal Migration
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Zoology
                Animal Behavior
                Animal Migration
                Earth Sciences
                Seasons
                Spring
                Earth Sciences
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences
                Oceanography
                Ocean Temperature
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Climatology
                Climate Change
                Anthropogenic Climate Change
                Earth Sciences
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences
                Bodies of Water
                Oceans
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.

                Uncategorized

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