Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Non-stationary and interactive effects of climate and competition on pink salmon productivity

Citation: Ohlberger, J., Ward, E. J., Brenner, R. E., Hunsicker, M. E., Haught, S. B., Finnoff, D., Litzow, M. A., Schwoerer, T., Ruggerone, G. T., & Hauri, C. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.16049. December 2021.
Support provided by NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (grant no. NA18NOS4780180) and partly funded by the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) under NOAA Cooperative Agreement NA15OAR4320063

Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are exposed to increased environmental change and multiple human stressors. To anticipate future impacts of global change and to improve sustainable resource management, it is critical to understand how wild salmon populations respond to stressors associated with human-caused changes such as climate warming and ocean acidification, as well as competition in the ocean, which is intensified by the large-scale production and release of hatchery reared salmon. Pink salmon (Ogorbuscha) are a keystone species in the North Pacific Ocean and support highly valuable commercial fisheries. We investigated the joint effects of changes in ocean conditions and salmon abundances on the productivity of wild pink salmon. Our analysis focused on Prince William Sound in Alaska, because the region accounts for ~50% of the global production of hatchery pink salmon with local hatcheries releasing 600–700 million pink salmon fry annually. Using 60 years of data on wild pink salmon abundances, hatchery releases, and ecological conditions in the ocean, we find evidence that hatchery pink salmon releases negatively affect wild pink salmon productivity, likely through competition between wild and hatchery juveniles in nearshore marine habitats. We find no evidence for effects of ocean acidification on pink salmon productivity. However, a change in the leading mode of North Pacific climate in 1988–1989 weakened the temperature–productivity relationship and altered the strength of intraspecific density dependence. Therefore, our results suggest non-stationary (i.e., time varying) and interactive effects of ocean climate and competition on pink salmon productivity. Our findings further highlight the need for salmon management to consider potential adverse effects of large-scale hatchery production within the context of ocean change.

Scroll to Top


The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) works to prepare society to adapt to the consequences of ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as acidification occurs. Learn more about the human connections and adaptation strategies from these efforts.

Adaptation approaches fostered by the OAP include:


Using models and research to understand the sensitivity of organisms and ecosystems to ocean acidification to make predictions about the future, allowing communities and industries to prepare


Using these models and predictions as tools to facilitate management strategies that will protect marine resources and communities from future changes


Developing innovative tools to help monitor ocean acidification and mitigate changing ocean chemistry locally


On the Road

Drive fuel-efficient vehicles or choose public transportation. Choose your bike or walk! Don't sit idle for more than 30 seconds. Keep your tires properly inflated.

With your Food Choices

Eat local- this helps cut down on production and transport! Reduce your meat and dairy. Compost to avoid food waste ending up in the landfill

With your Food Choices

Make energy-efficient choices for your appliances and lighting. Heat and cool efficiently! Change your air filters and program your thermostat, seal and insulate your home, and support clean energy sources

By Reducing Coastal Acidification

Reduce your use of fertilizers, Improve sewage treatment and run off, and Protect and restore coastal habitats

Previous slide
Next slide


You've taken the first step to learn more about ocean acidification - why not spread this knowledge to your community?

Every community has their unique culture, economy and ecology and what’s at stake from ocean acidification may be different depending on where you live.  As a community member, you can take a larger role in educating the public about ocean acidification. Creating awareness is the first step to taking action.  As communities gain traction, neighboring regions that share marine resources can build larger coalitions to address ocean acidification.  Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Work with informal educators, such as aquarium outreach programs and local non-profits, to teach the public about ocean acidification. Visit our Education & Outreach page to find the newest tools!
  2. Participate in habitat restoration efforts to restore habitats that help mitigate the effects of coastal acidification
  3. Facilitate conversations with local businesses that might be affected by ocean acidification, building a plan for the future.
  4. Partner with local community efforts to mitigate the driver behind ocean acidification  – excess CO2 – such as community supported agriculture, bike & car shares and other public transportation options.
  5. Contact your regional Coastal Acidification Network (CAN) to learn how OA is affecting your region and more ideas about how you can get involved in your community
       More for Taking Community Action