Climate Change Impacts on Great Lakes Fishes

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1 Climate Change Impacts on Great Lakes Fishes Stuart A. Ludsin Changing Climate Webinar Series The Ohio State University 19 April 2011

2 Today s Presentation Great Lakes Fish Community A Changing Climate Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Take Home Messages

3 Great Lakes Fish Community Diverse fish community ~169 species >25 exotics Cultural & ecological import Economic import Recreational fishing Commercial fisheries

4 Great Lakes Recreational Fisheries >1.75 million anglers annually >22 million angler days annually $1.75 billion YP Chinook Lake trout Walleye

5 Great Lakes Commercial Fisheries Herring Species fished Max. harvest (millions of pounds) ON YP WI Whitefish Walleye IL IN MI OH NY PA

6 Great Lakes Fish Community Fish production depends heavily on availability of quality habitat Many factors affect habitat quality & quantity Spawning habitat Water clarity Prey (food) Dissolved oxygen Temperature Production Quality habitat Each species has a unique set of habitat requirements that promote maximal growth, survival, & production Fish distribution & abundance vary as a function of habitat Within an ecosystem (lake) Across ecosystems (lakes)

7 Preferred temperature (ºC) Coho salmon Lake trout Great Lakes Fish Community Warm Chinook salmon Whitefish Alewife Rainbow Burbot trout Rainbow Lake smelt herring Carp Freshwater Emerald drum Smallmouth shiner bass Channel catfish Walleye Yellow perch Cool White crappie Rock bass White perch Deep/offshore Shallow/nearshore Habitat preference Gar Bluegill White bass Northern pike Cold After Fig. 23, Kling et al (2003)

8 Today s Presentation Great Lakes Fish Community A Climate Changing Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Take Home Messages

9 Climate Change Projections: Temperature # Days < 0 o C (Air) p< R 2 = Toledo, OH Farmer & Ludsin, unpublished data

10 A Changing Climate Lake Superior temperature increase Water has warmed 2-fold faster than air Temperature ( C) Air (0.06 C/yr) Water (0.12 C/yr) Source: J. Austin, U of Minnesota, Duluth Austin and Coleman (2007)

11 Climate Change Projections: Precipitation Significant increase in precipitation Erie, Michigan, Ontario, and Huron 1200 Lake Ontario Precipitation (mm/year) Year McBean and Motiee (2008)

12 Climate Change Projections: Precipitation 7-day storm events Increased frequency ( ) Kunkel et al (1999)

13 Higher temperatures Shift in seasons Longer growing season (earlier spring, later fall) Shorter winter (by days) Growing season (days) A Changing Climate Summer increase: 3 11ºC Winter increase: 3 7ºC High emissions scenario Low emissions scenario Kling et al. (2003) Year

14 Shift in seasonal rainfall A Changing Climate More rain in winter & spring Less rain during the summer & fall Increased frequency of storm events Doubling of 24-hour & 7-day storms Ave. precipitation (mm/day) High emissions Low emissions 2 Kling et al. (2003) J F J A M J J A S O N D

15 A Changing Climate Current By 2030 (summer) By 2095 (summer) By 2095 (winter)

16 Great Lakes Fish Community Great Lakes Fish Community A Climate Changing Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Take Home Messages

17 Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Air Temperature Spring Storms & Rain Temperature Winter Ice Cover Spring River Discharge Spring Runoff Thermal Stratification Level Spring Nutrient & Sediment Inputs Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) Plankton Production Clarity Fish Growth, Survival & Production

18 Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Air Temperature Modeling to date is limited Direct effects of temperature Temperature Fish Growth, Survival & Production

19 Impacts of Fishes: The Expected Water temperature warming warm- and cool-water fishes coldwater fishes 100 warm-h 2 O cool-h 2 O cold-h 2 O 75 % change in thermal habitat Lake trout Unproductive lakes Bluegill Yellow perch Productive lakes Stefan et al (1995)

20 Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Shifts in current species range Northern expansion of range: warm & cool-water fishes Yellow perch, smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike

21 Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Shifts in current species range Northern expansion of range: warm & cool-water fishes Yellow perch, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp, northern pike Southern retraction of range: cold-water fishes Lake trout, burbot, lake whitefish, walleye, northern pike

22 Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Shifts in current species range Northern expansion of range: warm & cool-water fishes Yellow perch, smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike Southern retraction of range: cold-water fishes Lake trout, burbot, lake whitefish, walleye, northern pike Shifts in community composition Expansion of invasive species White perch, striped bass, native smallmouth bass Altered food-web interactions Competitive & predatory interactions with new invaders Winners & losers will emerge

23 Today s Presentation Great Lakes Fish Community A Climate Changing Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Take Home Messages

24 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Air Temperature Modeling to date is limited Direct effects of temperature Temperature Modeling has not considered most indirect effects Potential interactions with other human stressors have not been considered Fish Growth, Survival & Production

25 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Air Temperature Spring Storms & Rain Temperature Winter Ice Cover Spring River Discharge Spring Runoff Thermal Stratification Level Spring Nutrient & Sediment Inputs Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) Plankton Production Clarity Fish Growth, Survival & Production

26 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises 35 Preferred temperature (ºC) Warm Cool Cold Deep/offshore Yellow perch Habitat preference Yellow Perch ( Shedd Aquarium) Shallow/nearshore

27 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises? Age-2 yellow perch abundance (millions) West Year Data Source: Lake Erie Committee

28 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Air Temperature Lake Michigan yellow perch (Magnuson et al. 1990) Temperature + Water column depth (m) Fish Growth, Survival & Production Day of Year

29 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Air Temperature Spring Storms & Rain Temperature Winter Ice Cover Spring River Discharge Spring Runoff Thermal Stratification Level Spring Nutrient & Sediment Inputs Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) Plankton Production Clarity Fish Growth, Survival & Production

30 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Enhanced bottom hypoxia ( dead zones ) air temperature & ice cover phytoplankton production water levels thermal stratification 43 Dissolved oxygen (mg/l) Lake Erie Sept

31 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Reduced access to bo-om in summer hypoxia (low oxygen) would result in: feeding growth condi=on in fall Warmer Colder Low oxygen Benthos With Climate Warming Roberts et al. (2009, in press) Arend et al. (2011) Warm Cool Benthos Yellow perch No Climate Warming

32 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Temperature + Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) - Fish Growth, Survival & Production

33 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Air Temperature Spring Storms & Rain Temperature Winter Ice Cover Spring River Discharge Spring Runoff Thermal Stratification Level Spring Nutrient & Sediment Inputs Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) Plankton Production Clarity Fish Growth, Survival & Production

34 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Ho: Warmer winters could negatively affect reproduction (impair ovary development, egg production, spawning success) Month M A M J J 100 At least 165 days below 6 C for 4 100% spawning % females that spawned Chill duration (days from Oct. 30) Treatment temperature Fig. 1 from Hokanson (1977)

35 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Ho: Warmer winters could negatively affect reproductive (ovary development, fecundity, spawning or egg/larval survival) Age-0 YP CPUE Western x = 0.27 p = Winter water temperature ( C) T. Farmer, OSU, unpublished

36 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Temperature Winter Ice Cover + - Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) - Fish Growth, Survival & Production

37 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Air Temperature Spring Storms & Rain Temperature Winter Ice Cover Spring River Discharge Spring Runoff Thermal Stratification Level Spring Nutrient & Sediment Inputs Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) Plankton Production Clarity Fish Growth, Survival & Production

38 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Spring Storms & Rain H o : Increased precipitation-driven runoff/discharge could benefit fisheries via inputs of nutrients and/or sediments Spring River Discharge Spring Nutrient & Sediment Inputs Spring Runoff Plankton Production Clarity Fish Growth, Survival & Production

39 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Ho: Increased precipitation-driven runoff/discharge could benefit fisheries via inputs of nutrients and/or sediments Age-2 yellow perch (millions) '88 '87 '05 '04 '97 '92 '06 '00 '91 '01 '93 '95 '94 '98 '99 '90 '89 '03 ' April-May Maumee R. discharge (m 3 / sec) '02 (r = 0.84) S. Ludsin, unpublished data

40 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Ho: Precipitation-driven runoff/discharge could benefit fisheries via inputs of nutrients and/or sediments Relationship holds only in new regime Log 10 (age-2 yellow perch) (millions) '62 '65 '77 '59'70 '71 '75 '84 '82 '74 '63 '68 '67 '85 '80 '69 '76 '60 '61 '79 '72 '58'86 '81 '73 '78 '66 '64 ' Log 10 (April-May Maumee River discharge) (m 3 / sec) '88 '87 (r = 0.84) '05 '04 '90 '97 '92 '89 '06 '00 '91 '03 '01 '96 '98'99 '93 '94 '95 '02 S. Ludsin, unpublished data

41 Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Temperature Winter Ice Cover + - Spring Nutrient & Sediment Inputs Oxygen Availability ( Dead Zones ) Fish Growth, Survival & Production Plankton Production - + Clarity

42 Today s Presentation Great Lakes Fish Community A Climate Changing Impacts on Fishes: The Expected Impacts on Fishes: Ecological Surprises Take Home Messages

43 Take Home Messages Climate change will affect Great Lakes fishes Alter distribution of abundance, fish community composition Some fisheries will benefit, others will not Ability to forecast effects is still in its infancy Most studies have focused on direct temperature effects However, numerous other direct/indirect effects likely (via river discharge, hypoxia, warm winters) Need more mechanistic research & modeling Synergies (H o : hypoxia + warm winters = reproduction) Interactions (H o : precipitation/runoff is both good & bad) Climate change effects are context- (regime) dependent

44 Thanks for your attention!

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