Fish commonly respond to stress, including stress from chemical exposures, with reduced growth. However, the relevance to wild populations of subtle and sometimes transitory growth reductions may not be obvious. At low-level, sustained exposures, Cu is one substance that commonly causes reduced growth but little mortality in laboratory toxicity tests with fish. To explore the relevance of growth reductions under laboratory conditions to wild populations, we (1) estimated growth effects of low-level Cu exposures to juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), (2) related growth effects to reduced survival in downriver Chinook salmon migrations, (3) estimated population demographics, (4) constructed a demographically structured matrix population model, and (5) projected the influence of Cu-reduced growth on population size, extinction risks, and recovery chances. Reduced juvenile growth from Cu in the range of chronic criteria concentrations was projected to cause disproportionate reductions in survival of migrating juveniles, with a 7.5% length reduction predicting about a 23% to 52% reduction in survival from a headwaters trap to the next census point located 640 km downstream. Projecting reduced juvenile growth out through six generations (∼30 years) resulted in little increased extinction risk; however, population recovery times were delayed under scenarios where Cu-reduced growth was imposed.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Extrapolating growth reductions in fish to changes in population extinction risks: Copper and Chinook salmon.|
|Series title||Human and Ecological Risk Assessment|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Contributing office(s)||Idaho Water Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Middle Fork of the Salmon River|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|