reference : Climate change expands the spatial extent and duration of preferred thermal habitat for Lake Superior fishes

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Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract Climate change is expected to alter species distributions and habitat suitability across the globe. Understanding these shifting distributions is critical for adaptive resource management. The role of temperature in fish habitat and energetics is well established and can be used to evaluate climate change effects on habitat distributions and food web interactions. Lake Superior water temperatures are rising rapidly in response to climate change and this is likely influencing species distributions and interactions. We use a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model that captures temperature changes in Lake Superior over the last 3 decades to investigate shifts in habitat size and duration of preferred temperatures for four different fishes. We evaluated habitat changes in two native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) ecotypes, siscowet and lean lake trout, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and walleye (Sander vitreus). Between 1979 and 2006, days with available preferred thermal habitat increased at a mean rate of 6, 7, and 5 days per decade for lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye, respectively. Siscowet lake trout lost 3 days per decade. Consequently, preferred habitat spatial extents increased at a rate of 579, 495 and 419 km2 per year for the lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye while siscowet lost 161 km2 per year during the modeled period. Habitat increases could lead to increased growth and production for three of the four fishes. Consequently, greater habitat overlap may intensify interguild competition and food web interactions. Loss of cold-water habitat for siscowet, having the coldest thermal preference, could forecast potential changes from continued warming. Additionally, continued warming may render more suitable conditions for some invasive species.
Author Cline, Timothy J.; Bennington, Val; Kitchell, James F.
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0062279
Issue 4
Journal PLOS ONE
Pages e62279
Publisher Public Library of Science
Title Climate change expands the spatial extent and duration of preferred thermal habitat for Lake Superior fishes
Volume 8
Year 2013
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 21212
_uuid 8a6a8c87-01dc-4370-a982-afe4207f1962