SCIENCE NEWS: Study reveals the evolutionary history of imperiled salmon stocks; Pescadero community restores floodplain; Hunt for San Francisco Bay shark killer zeroes in on a suspect; Green sea turtles adapting to life in the San Gabriel River’s murky flow; and more …

Dendritic crystal formation, photo courtesy of PNNL

In science news this week: Study reveals the evolutionary history of imperiled salmon stocks; Pescadero community restores floodplain; Hunt for San Francisco Bay shark killer zeroes in on a suspect; Scientists keep an eye on green sea turtles adapting to life in the San Gabriel River’s murky flows; It’s time for stream policy to catch up with the science; and Climate change projected to significantly increase harmful algal blooms in US waters

Study reveals the evolutionary history of imperiled salmon stocks:  “New technologies for analyzing DNA may transform how imperiled species are considered and managed for conservation protection, according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances and led by the University of California, Davis.  These technologies can be applied to a wide range of species around the world—from mushrooms to walruses—but the study focuses on two iconic species of Pacific : steelhead and chinook. While steelhead are a legendary sport fish, chinook are considered the workhorse of the West Coast salmon industry. … ”  Read more from Phys Org here:  Study reveals the evolutionary history of imperiled salmon stocks

Pescadero community restores floodplain:  “The tiny farming community of Pescadero, California, population 643, is one of those places where time seems to stand still.  Watersheds, however, do not.  That’s why a number of agencies and community volunteers came together recently to repair Butano Creek, ultimately restoring part of its floodplain while helping native fish and reducing flooding.  Nestled about two miles inland east of Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean, the small town of Pescadero is a hop, skip and gnarly wave from some of the most beautiful ocean-front landscapes in the world, such as Half Moon Bay (home of the internationally known Mavericks surfing contest) and Santa Cruz. … ”  Read more from the US Fish and Wildlife Service here:  Pescadero community restores floodplain

Hunt for San Francisco Bay shark killer zeroes in on a suspect:  “A shark and ray die-off in the San Francisco Bay that peaked in April and May has dwindled in the last few months, and the zig-zagging hunt for an explanation has neared at least a partial solution to the mystery.  “We’re much further along than we were a year ago,” says Mark Okihiro, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife senior fish pathologist who has led the state’s investigation. “Certainly even further than we were just a few months ago. But the story has changed quite a bit since [the spring].” … ” Read more from Bay Nature here:  Hunt for San Francisco Bay shark killer zeroes in on a suspect

Scientists keep an eye on green sea turtles adapting to life in the San Gabriel River’s murky flows:  “When scientists confirmed their existence in the San Gabriel River in 2008, the green sea turtles were thought to be oddballs or lost wanderers.  The federally endangered species usually is found in tropical haunts – amid coral reefs or on the sandy beaches where they lay eggs. But this colony was cavorting in the southern end of the river, where the flood control channel’s tainted urban runoff mixes with tidal flows in the shadows of and the 405 Freeway.  With each massive turtle that poked its grapefruit-size head above the murky water for a gulp of air came questions. ... ”  Read more from PhysOrg here:  Scientists keep an eye on green sea turtles adapting to life in the San Gabriel River’s murky flows

California scientists push to create massive climate research program:  “California has a history of going it alone to protect the environment. Now, as US President Donald Trump pulls back on climate science and policy, scientists in the Golden State are sketching plans for a home-grown climate-research institute—to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.  The initiative, which is backed by California’s flagship universities, is in the early stages of development. If it succeeds, it will represent one of the largest US investments in climate research in years. The nascent ‘California Climate Science and Solutions Institute’ would fund basic- and applied-research projects designed to help the state to grapple with the hard realities of global warming. ... ”  Read more from Scientific American here:  California scientists push to create massive climate research program

It’s time for stream policy to catch up with the science:  “Streams are one of the most important sources of drinking water across the country. That’s why it is especially alarming that scientists have concerns about North Carolina’s streams and rivers, where I get much of my drinking water.  But streams aren’t just for drinking. These waterways provide countless other benefits to local communities, including recreational opportunities, flood control, improved fish and wildlife habitat, and irrigation for agriculture, to name a few. That’s why it’s vitally important that impacts to streams are offset with effective restoration. ... ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  It’s time for stream policy to catch up with the science

Climate change projected to significantly increase harmful algal blooms in US waters:  “Harmful algal blooms known to pose risks to human and environmental health in large freshwater reservoirs and lakes are projected to increase because of climate change, according to a team of researchers led by a Tufts University scientist.  The team developed a modeling framework that predicts that the largest increase in cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) would occur in the Northeast region of the United States, but the biggest economic harm would be felt by recreation areas in the Southeast. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Climate change projected to significantly increase harmful algal blooms in US waters

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

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About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven

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