Climate Change and Fish Communities: A Conceptual Framework.

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Many autecological effects of temperature on fish are known, and fishery biologists have begun to incorporate this knowledge into population-level relations that can be used to assess possible effects of climatic warming on fishes and their habitats. However, the problem of extrapolating these or other relations to multispecies assemblages is not straightforward, given the complexity of community-level phenomena. I present a conceptual framework that views fish assemblages as products of a series of filters, operating at different spatial and temporal scales, through which an assemblage's component species must pass. This framework can facilitate an understanding of the processes that organize fish assemblages and suggest ways in which the complex problem can be divided into manageable pieces. I apply this framework in an examination of small-lake fish assemblages in three regions on two continents. The procedure reveals local and regional relations of richness and composition and highlights the importance of isolation, extinction, and colonization, as well as temperature, that must be considered in climate change assessments. This community-level framework can organize accumulated knowledge of fish assemblages, identify causal processes behind community-level patterns, and focus research needed for the management of fish assemblages in the face of major anticipated changes in climate.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    © Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 1990
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Tonn, W. M. (1990). Climate Change and Fish Communities: A Conceptual Framework. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 119(2), 337-352. DOI: 10.1577/1548-8659(1990)119<0337:CCAFCA>2.3.CO;2