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Salmon migrate earlier in evolutionary response to climate change

Academics at the University of Alaska have discovered evidence for genetic change in pink salmon populations as a response to the environmental pressures of climate change.

In 2010, spawning pink salmon in Auke Creek, Alaska, swam upstream nearly two weeks earlier than they did forty years ago. During this time, the average temperature of the water rose by more than one degree.

The research indicates a genetic basis for this behavioural change. It appears that natural selection has acted against late-migrating individuals in the population, resulting in earlier overall migration as well as fewer late-migrating salmon.

The research provides rare evidence in support of an evolutionary response to climate change.

Read more at University of Alaska

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