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Study shows climate change could drive loss of 50% of western U.S. trout habitat

Aug. 25, 2012

Writer: Beth Gavrilles, bethgav@uga.edu

Contact: Seth Wenger, swenger@tu.org

Research by Odum School of Ecology alumnus Seth Wenger, Ph.D. ’06, about how climate change affects trout in the western U.S. has received widespread coverage in the media, including stories in the New York Times, Nature, Science, and more than 50 other news outlets.

The paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explores the response of four trout species to climate-related changes, including temperature, stream flow patterns, and interactions between native and introduced trout. Using a suite of climate models, the researchers found that, while the response of each species is different, the net result could be the loss of approximately 50 percent of trout habitat in the western U.S. over the next 70 years.

Wenger, the study’s lead author, is currently a staff scientist with the nonprofit Trout Unlimited. He worked on the study with researchers from the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Colorado State University, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group.

Read more:

Trout Fishing in a Climate-Changed America
New York Times
Felicity Barringer, 8/16/2011

Down and trout in 2080
25 August 2011

Canadian trout population likely to decline under climate change, study says
Globe and Mail
Aug. 15, 2011

Climate change will halve the Canadian trout population: study
Toronto Star
Aug. 15, 2011

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Flow regime, temperature, and biotic interactions drive differential declines of trout species under climate change
Published online before print August 15, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103097108
August 23, 2011 vol. 108 no. 34 14175-14180