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Reservoir fish habitats: A perspective on coping with climate change

May 22, 2020

Climate change is the defining environmental problem for our generation. The effects of climate change are increasingly evident and are anticipated to profoundly affect our ability to conserve fish habitats and fish assemblages. Reservoirs are important structures for coping with projected shifts in water supply, but they also provide refuge for riverine fishes and retain distinct fish assemblages that support diverse fisheries. The effects of climate change on reservoirs are unique among aquatic systems because reservoirs have distinctive habitat characteristics due to their terrestrial origin and strong linkage to catchments. This article reviews (1) the projected effects of rising temperature and shifting precipitation on reservoir fish habitats, and (2) adaptation strategies to cope with the anticipated effects. Climate warming impacts to reservoirs may include higher water temperatures and shifts in hydrology that can result in reduced water levels in summer and fall, altered water residence cycles, disconnection from upstream riverine habitats and backwaters, increased stratification, eutrophication, anoxia, and a general shift in biotic assemblages including plants, invertebrates, and fishes. What is needed to adapt to these changes is a perspective that focuses on maintaining ecosystem functionality rather than on retaining a certain species composition. To that end, various strategies organized into planning, monitoring, and managing compartments are identified.

Publication Year 2020
Title Reservoir fish habitats: A perspective on coping with climate change
DOI 10.1080/23308249.2020.1767035
Authors Leandro E. Miranda, G. Coppola, J. Boxrucker
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture
Index ID 70228422
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta