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Keywords:

  • biodiversity;
  • environmental change;
  • freshwater survival;
  • global warming;
  • habitat quality

Summary

  • 1
    We explored differential population responses to climate in 18 populations of threatened spring–summer Chinook salmon Onchorynchus tshawytscha in the Salmon River basin, Idaho.
  • 2
    Using data from a long-term mark–release–recapture study of juvenile survival, we found that fall stream flow is the best predictor of average survival across all populations.
  • 3
    To determine whether all populations responded similarly to climate, we used a cluster analysis to group populations that had similar annual fluctuations in survival. The populations grouped into four clusters, and different environmental factors were important for different clusters.
  • 4
    Survival in two of the clusters was negatively correlated with summer temperature, and survival in the other two clusters was positively correlated with minimum fall stream flow, which in turn depends on snow pack from the previous winter.
  • 5
    Using classification and regression tree analysis, we identified stream width and stream temperature as key habitat factors that shape the responses of individual populations to climate.
  • 6
    Climate change will likely have different impacts on different populations within this metapopulation, and recognizing this diversity is important for accurately assessing risks.