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SFS Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 23, 2019
14:00 - 15:30

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14:00 - 14:15: / 250 AB VARIATION IN OXYGEN, TEMPERATURE AND FLOW IN STREAMS AND HOW THEY INFLUENCE THE BEHAVIOR OF THE GIANT SALMONFLY, PTERONARCYS CALIFORNICA (INSECTA: PLECOPTERA)

5/23/2019  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  250 AB

VARIATION IN OXYGEN, TEMPERATURE AND FLOW IN STREAMS AND HOW THEY INFLUENCE THE BEHAVIOR OF THE GIANT SALMONFLY, PTERONARCYS CALIFORNICA (INSECTA: PLECOPTERA) Rivers are heterogenous, dynamic systems in space and time. Variation in water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), and flow are especially important because they interact to determine both the demand by aquatic ectotherms for oxygen and the availability of oxygen to meet that demand. Fish and benthic macroinvertebrates can become oxygen limited when flows are low or when water temperatures are high. Thus variation in temperature, DO and flow directly affects the metabolism, performance and survival of aquatic ectotherms. Despite the importance of these factors, we know little about how they vary within the substrate, where aquatic macroinvertebrates live. Furthermore, we know little about how aquatic macroinvertebrates exploit the microhabitat variation available to them. We measured spatial and temporal micro-climatic variation of DO in Montana streams and how the salmonfly, Pteronarcys californica, exhibits behavioral plasticity to exploit temperature, DO and flow micro-habitats. We also measured the tolerance of this species to different combinations of these conditions to determine critical points at which the organism becomes stressed. We infer that these points indicate conditions that are metabolically unsustainable, triggering salmonflies to seek new microhabitat refuge where conditions are more favorable.

Jackson H. Birrell (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Montana, jackson.birrell@umontana.edu;


Jameson Frakes (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, jameson.frakes@umontana.edu;


H. Arthur Woods (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, art.woods@umontana.edu;


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14:15 - 14:30: / 250 AB AQUIFER STONEFLIES (PLECOPTERA) ARE TOLERANT OF ANOXIA AND HYPOXIA COMPARED TO BENTHIC SPECIES

5/23/2019  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  250 AB

AQUIFER STONEFLIES (PLECOPTERA) ARE TOLERANT OF ANOXIA AND HYPOXIA COMPARED TO BENTHIC SPECIES At least 7 stonefly species are widespread amphibionts in alluvial aquifers which contain highly heterogeneous habitats, including zones with low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. We conducted 92-hr oxygen tolerance experiments (anoxic and hypoxic conditions) on 2400 individual stonefly larvae obtained from aquifer and benthic sites in the Flathead River, Montana. We reduced oxygen concentrations to anoxia (0.0 mg/L) or hypoxia (0.5 mg/L), documented locomotor activity during and after oxygen drawdown, and measured survival rates over the course of the experiments. Aquifer species were active 31x longer in anoxia and 3x longer in hypoxia than benthic species. Notably Paraperla frontalis and Isocapnia spp – aquifer species - were ambulatory for up to 4 and 48 hours (respectively) of exposure to anoxia. Early-instar larvae were more tolerant than late-instars. Multinomial logistic regression analysis showed that aquifer species had significantly (P<0.001) higher probabilities of surviving than benthic species in anoxia and hypoxia. Tolerance to low oxygen and the ability to remain ambulatory in anoxia helps explain why amphibiotic stonefly species are notably abundant in alluvial aquifers where food webs are subsidized by methanotrophic resources produced in anoxic zones.

Hailey Jacobson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Flathead Lake Biological Station, The University of Montana, haileyjacobson4@gmail.com;


Brian Hand (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Flathead Lake Biological Station, The University of Montana, brian.hand@umontana.edu;


Gordon Luikart (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Flathead Lake Biological Station, The University of Montana, gordon.luikart@umontana.edu;


Jack Stanford (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Flathead Lake Biological Station-University of Montana, jack.stanford@umontana.edu;


Rachel Malison (Primary Presenter/Author), Flathead Lake Biological Station, The University of Montana, rachel.malison@umontana.edu;


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14:30 - 14:45: / 250 AB LINKING THERMAL TOLERANCE TO GENE EXPRESSION IN ALPINE STONEFLIES IMPERILED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

5/23/2019  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  250 AB

LINKING THERMAL TOLERANCE TO GENE EXPRESSION IN ALPINE STONEFLIES IMPERILED BY CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change is dramatically altering alpine stream ecosystems through the recession of glaciers and snowfields which alters downstream conditions. For species that are linked to meltwater habitats, there is a pressing need to understand how ecologically relevant phenotypes relate to habitat conditions as well as the genetic architecture underlying them. Nemourid stoneflies are common in alpine stream communities in the Rocky Mountains. Two nemourids, Lednia tumana and Lednia tetonica, are of particular conservation concern with L. tumana having been petitioned for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-induced habitat loss. Here, we tested the upper thermal tolerance–critical thermal maximum (CTmax)—for multiple nemourid stonefly species and populations that reside in a variety of alpine stream types as defined by primary hydrological source (e.g., glacier, snowfield, or a subterranean rock glacier). For a subset of populations and specimens, we collected RNA-sequencing data to explore differences in gene expression between stoneflies at their CTmax and control specimens acclimated to 3°C. We found that temperature regime was a significant predictor of CTmax and identified population-specific differences in gene expression associated with thermal tolerance in these sensitive alpine stoneflies.

Scott Hotaling (Primary Presenter/Author), Washington State University, scott.hotaling@uky.edu;


Alisha Shah (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, alishas0624@gmail.com;


Kerry McGowan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Washington State University, kerry.mcgowan@wsu.edu;


Lusha Tronstad (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Wyoming, Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, tronstad@uwyo.edu;


J. Joseph Giersch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, jgiersch@usgs.gov;


Debra Finn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Missouri State University, dfinn@missouristate.edu;


H. Arthur Woods (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, art.woods@umontana.edu;


Michael Dillon (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Wyoming, michael.dillon@uwyo.edu;


Joanna Kelley (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Washington State University, joanna.l.kelley@wsu.edu;


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14:45 - 15:00: / 250 AB LANDSCAPE PHENOMICS: PREDICTING VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE BY LINKING ENVIRONMENTAL HETEROGENEITY TO GENETIC AND PHENOTYPIC VARIATION IN MTN STREAM FROGS

5/23/2019  |   14:45 - 15:00   |  250 AB

LANDSCAPE PHENOMICS: PREDICTING VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE BY LINKING ENVIRONMENTAL HETEROGENEITY TO GENETIC AND PHENOTYPIC VARIATION IN MTN STREAM FROGS Our goal is to uncover spatial patterns of vulnerability to climate change using an integrative framework that links environmental heterogeneity to genetic and phenotypic variation in resilience traits, an approach we term “landscape phenomics”. Our fundamental premise is that environmental variation ultimately generates phenotypic variation through plasticity and evolution, and this phenotypic variation mediates the vulnerability of populations to environmental change. We are currently applying this framework to understand spatial variation in thermal tolerance and vulnerability to climate change in coastal and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei and A. montanus) by integrating environmental (temperature and food resources), genomic (SNP and whole genome resequencing), and physiological data. Preliminary genomic results indicate that populations are adapted to their local temperature regime. Moreover, thermal tolerance varies as a function of local temperatures and can change plastically to some degree in acclimation experiments. These early results suggest that both evolution and plasticity cause variation in this key resilience trait. Our ultimate goal will be to infer how this phenotypic variation influences spatial patterns of vulnerability in the face of climate change.

W. Chris Funk (Primary Presenter/Author), Colorado State University, chris.funk@colostate.edu;


Brenna Forester (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Colorado State University, Brenna.Forester@colostate.edu;


Amanda Cicchino (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Colorado State University, cicchinoamanda@gmail.com;


Alisha Shah (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, alishas0624@gmail.com;


Daryl Trumbo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Colorado State University, daryl.trumbo@gmail.com;


Cameron Ghalambor (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Colorado State University, cameron.ghalambor@colostate.edu;


Jason Dunham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U. S. Geological Survey, jdunham@usgs.gov;


Erin Landguth (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, erin.landguth@gmail.com;


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15:00 - 15:15: / 250 AB RAPIDLY SHIFTING WATERSCAPES IN THE TROPICAL HIGH ANDES OF SOUTHERN PERU

5/23/2019  |   15:00 - 15:15   |  250 AB

RAPIDLY SHIFTING WATERSCAPES IN THE TROPICAL HIGH ANDES OF SOUTHERN PERU The Cordillera Vilcanota, southern Peru, has been the focus of more than a decade of research to understand biological and societal impacts of rapid climate change. Tropical high-elevation aquatic ecosystems face uncertainty surrounding the onset and duration of the wet season. Simultaneously, rapid deglaciation alters alpine habitat states and extents. We synthesized participatory observation of daily pastoral practices in a high-elevation herding community with reproductive phenology surveys of a high-elevation amphibian community to examine responses to delayed wet season onset during the 2015/2016 El Niño. We identify parallel key strategies (i.e., flexible mobility¬—humans; reproductive plasticity—amphibians) for confronting unpredictable, extreme conditions in rapidly changing high-mountain environments. We analyzed stable isotope signatures to identify threatened aquatic habitats fed by glaciers, long-term observations of wetland vegetation cover, and interviews with local herders regarding past, current, and future wetland availability. Future reductions to connectivity between aquatic habitat and glacial meltwater may decrease the availability of suitable habitat for aquatic organisms and wetland grazing areas for alpaca herds, the principal economic resource in this pastoralist community. Our results suggest that pasture management may provide crucial local aquatic refugia under climate change.

Allison Caine (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Michigan, allisoncaine@gmail.com;


Maureen Donnelly (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Florida International University, maureen.a.donnelly@gmail.com;


Kelsey Reider (Primary Presenter/Author), Florida International University, kreider@fiu.edu;


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