Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Study Hopes to Understand Trout, Sagebrush Response to Climate Change
There’s no shortage of sagebrush to study around the Sun Valley area.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019


It’s known as GEM3. And it’s a research program seeking to understand how genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity—that is, the changes in an organism’s behavior and physiology in response to a unique environment--affect species’ response to environmental change.

Under the microscope: Redband trout and sagebrush.

Both are integral to ecosystems in the American West and central to land-use management decisions that drive the local economy.

Researchers from the University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University will discuss the project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, at 6 p.m. tonight—Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Ketchum’s Community Library.

Redband trout was chosen because it is widely distributed but some are geographically and reproductively isolated. They’re found in extreme habitats and exist in landscapes that have often been degraded.

Those studying the redband trout recently discovered some of the last remaining native, genetically pure populations of cutthroat trout in the streams in a tributary of the Portneuf River near Pocatello.

Sagebrush was chosen because it provides important habitat for sage grouse, pygmy rabbits and other species

Researchers will talk about this study, which predicts observable characteristics about a species from what is known about its genetics and environment. They hope to understand the impacts of environmental and social change on Idaho’s landscapes, wildlife and people to help decision makers and communities develop potential solutions for key issues.

The event will be moderated by David Griffith from the Center for Resilient Communities at the University of Idaho.



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