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Spring 2018 Biology Seminar – Jay Nelson

Title: Arctic Char in Iceland: can their physiology tell us anything about the future of fishes faced with climate disruption?

Presenter: Jay Nelson (Department of Biology, Towson University)

Description: Climate projections predict temperature increases for many freshwaters and also flow regimes that are seasonally increased and more stochastic. Predicting the future of fishes that inhabit these waters will require knowing how they deal with changes of both temperature and flow. Presently, predictions of species’ responses to climate change do not incorporate this knowledge. Fortunately, some species have already experienced the same changes predicted for climate disruption and we can learn from them. As the glaciers retreated from the island of Iceland over the past 10,000 years, they created a mosaic of freshwater habitats that vary substantially in both temperature and flow. A species indigenous to most of these waters is the Arctic charr, a fish known for its phenotypic plasticity which allows us to compare metabolism, performance and thermal tolerance of wild charr from waters of variant flow and temperature with cultured charr raised under a matrix of flow and temperature conditions in the laboratory for a single generation. Results are being analyzed, but to date have uncovered thermal tolerances in wild charr from warm Icelandic streams not inducible by a single generation of acclimation.

Location: Smith Hall, room 359

Time: 3:30pm

Date: March 13th, 2018