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USGS - science for a changing world

Bonnie J Myers

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Inland fish populations are a crucial resource to humans and communities around the world. Recreational fishing throughout the United States, for example, provides important revenue to local and state economies; globally, inland fisheries are a vital food source for billions of people. Warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, however, are already causing significant changes to fish communities worldwide. Since the mid-1980s, scientists have projected the effects of climate change on inland fish, and in more recent years, documentation of impacts has increased. However, the number of documented impacts of climate change on inland fish remains low. A comprehensive understanding of how climate change...
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Although climate change is an important factor affecting fish globally, a comprehensive database of how climate change has impacted and will continue to impact inland fishes worldwide does not currently exist. We are conducting an extensive, systematic primary literature review to identify English-language, peer-reviewed journal publications with projected and documented examples of climate change impacts on inland fishes globally. From this standardized database of existing literature, we can examine global patterns in climate change impacts on inland fish. Following a decision path based on knowledge of how climate has been documented to affect fish biology in five main response categories (phenology, distribution,...
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Marine and inland fisheries provide substantial economic, nutritional, recreational, and cultural benefits to human populations globally. Though extensive research and management efforts exist to ensure the sustainability of these important resources, many fisheries still face threats including climate change, habitat degradation, and overfishing. The inland fisheries community often cites that less attention is given to inland fisheries compared to marine but, to date, no quantitative analysis has examined these differences. Our goal is to compare investment and resources allocated to the research and management of marine and inland fisheries relative to their value at a global scale. Through the development of...
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Increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation threaten the persistence of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, the southernmost subspecies of cutthroat trout, found only in parts of New Mexico and Colorado. This subspecies appears to be more vulnerable to drought than more northern subspecies, because it occupies small and fragmented streams which are at greater risk of drying up during drought. Most notably, in 2002 drought in the Southwest resulted in the loss of 14 different Rio Grande cutthroat trout populations – about 10% of the total population. While it is known that drought is having an effect on Rio Grande cutthroat trout, the specific ways in which individuals and populations are affected by drought...
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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 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....
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