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Study reveals dramatic loss of genetic diversity among Columbia River Chinook salmon

Study reveals dramatic loss of genetic diversity among Columbia River Chinook salmon

Science
Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Genetic diversity helps species survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions. Unfortunately for the Columbia River Chinook salmon, the species has lost nearly two-thirds of its genetic diversity.Scientists at Washington State University collected and analyzed DNA samples from salmon found in the Snake and Columbia rivers. They compared their genome to DNA samples from salmon bones dating to 7,000 years ago.The results -- published this week in the journal PLOS One -- show the salmon has experienced a dramatic decline in genetic diversity.Researchers aren't sure what's driving the decline but believe the arrival of European settlers in the 1800s played a significant role."The big question is: Is it the dams or was it this huge fishing pressure when Europeans arriv...