Not all species may suffer from climate change. A new analysis shows that Dolly Varden, a species of char common in southeast Alaska, adjust their migrations so they can keep feasting on a key food source – salmon eggs – even as shifts in climate altered the timing of salmon spawning.
The Dolly Varden’s secret appears to be that instead of taking its migration cues from environmental variables such as water temperature or streamflow, the species cues directly off the presence of salmon the Dolly Varden depend on for food, the study found.
“Despite warming temperatures and shifting salmon migrations, Dolly Varden do a great job of following their food,” said lead author Chris Sergeant of the National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program in southeast Alaska. “Species that can handle a high degree of variability are the ones that should be most resilient to further changes associated with climate.”