Title

Potential Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on a Shallow Natural Lake Fish Assemblage

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Departmental Paper Identifier

NRM-178

Keywords

shallow lakes, temperature, climate change, predation, growth, predator–prey dynamics, bioenergetics, consumption

Abstract

Much uncertainty exists around how fish communities in shallow lakes will respond to climate change. In this study, we modelled the effects of increased water temperatures on consumption and growth rates of two piscivores (northern pike [Esox lucius] and largemout h bass [Micropterus salmoides]) and examined relative effects of consumption by these predators on two prey species (bluegill [Lepomis macrochirus] and yellow perch [Perca flavescens]). Bioenergetics models were used to simulate the effects of climate chang e on growth and food consumption using predicted 2040 and 2060 temperatures in a shallow Nebraska Sandhill lake, USA. The patterns and magnitude of daily and cumulative consumption during the growing sea son (April–October) were generally similar between the two predators. However, growth of northern pike was always reduced (-3 to -45% change) compared to largemouth bass that experienced subtle changes (4 to -6% change) in weight by the end of the growing season. Assuming similar population size structure and numbers of predators in 2040–2060, future consumption of bluegill and yellow perch by northern pike and largemouth bass will likely increase (range: 3–24%), necessitating greater prey biomass to meet future energy demands. The timing of increased predator consumption will likely shift towards spring and fall (compared to summer), when prey species may not be available in the quantities required. Our findings suggest that increased water temperatures may affect species at the edge of their native range (i.e. northern pike) and a potential mismatch between predator and prey could exist.

Publication Title

Ecology of Freshwater Fish

Volume

25

First Page

487

Last Page

499

DOI of Published Version

10.1111/eff.12248

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons