Genomic evidence of past and future climate-linked loss in a migratory Arctic fish

Kara Layton, Paul Snelgrove, J. Brian Dempson, Tony Kess, Sarah Lehnert, Paul Bentzen, Steve Duffy, Amber Messmer, Ryan Stanley, Claudio DiBacco, Sarah Salisbury, Daniel Ruzzante, Cameron Nugent, Moira Ferguson, Jong Leong, Ben Koop, Ian Bradbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite widespread biodiversity losses, an understanding of how most taxa will respond to future climate change is lacking. Here we integrate genomics and environmental modelling to assess climate change responses in an ecologically and economically important Arctic species. Environmentally associated genomic diversity and machine learning are used to identify highly vulnerable populations of anadromous (migratory) Arctic charr, and we reconstruct estimates of effective population size spanning the twentieth century to identify past climate-associated declines. We uncover past region-wide declines in effective population size that correspond to decreases in temperature and community biomass in the Northwest Atlantic. We find vulnerable populations near the southern range limit, indicating northward shifts and a possible loss of commercially important life-history variation in response to climate change. The genomic approach used here to investigate climate change response identifies past and future declines that impact species persistence, ecosystem stability and food security in the Arctic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • climate-change ecology
  • climate-change impacts
  • Conservation biology
  • ecological genetics

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