Natural variation can help determine which rainbow trout strains are likely to survive global warming, according to a new study. The results will be presented today at the American Physiological Society (APS) Comparative Physiology: Complexity and Integration Conference in New Orleans.
The rising temperatures and resulting lower oxygen levels under the water in connection with climate change are likely to affect the coldwater fish habitats as rainbow drift. The resistance of this kind to changes in its surroundings will ultimately help to survive the significant warming of its tributaries.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia studied three tribes of rainbow wars, one that originates in California and two native to Canada. They found that young fish (called “roast”) from California could tolerate higher water temperatures and low oxygen environments better than roasting from Canada. There was no noticeable difference in tolerance levels as a whole among adult fish of the same strains. However, individual adult fish from all tribes had varying degrees of heat and oxygen tolerance, with some individuals being harder and others more vulnerable to climate stressors. “These differences represent naturally occurring variation,” said Nicholas Strowbridge, the first author of the study. The harder fish “is only a bit more capable of handling high temperatures and low oxygen,” Strowbridge explained.
Benefiting from the natural variation of the individual rainbow society can serve two advantageous purposes. Singing out the stronger fish in hatcheries can help preserve rainbow trout and support the global recreational fishing industry as heating trends continue.
Pemberton stirring is resistant to warmer water