Impacts of Global Change on Biotic Resistance, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services in Caribbean Fish Assemblages, Fisheries, and Aquatic Ecosystems

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Extreme events not only affect people but can have detrimental impacts on natural resources, such as fish and freshwater habitats. Impacts of extreme events, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and extreme flooding, have immediate consequences, but also have the ability to alter habitats and animals far in the future by providing opportunities for exotic species to colonize new areas. Some fish communi...

Extreme events not only affect people but can have detrimental impacts on natural resources, such as fish and freshwater habitats. Impacts of extreme events, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and extreme flooding, have immediate consequences, but also have the ability to alter habitats and animals far in the future by providing opportunities for exotic species to colonize new areas. Some fish communities in streams, rivers, and lakes may have the natural ability to resist the long-term impacts of extreme weather events. In this project, researchers will investigate the ability of Caribbean fish assemblages in Puerto Rico, which have both economic and cultural importance, to resist the impacts of extreme weather events. This information would allow natural resource managers on the island to develop appropriate responses to these events when managing fisheries resource. Furthermore, the project scientists will determine how changes in freshwater fish over time to hurricanes and other extreme weather events will impact the services (e.g., recreational and subsistence fishing practices) the fish will provide in the future. This work will not only deliver important information to fisheries managers and the community of Puerto Rico but could also be used by managers in other island systems.