Assessing the climate change vulnerability of freshwater fishes in Newfoundland and Labrador

Olusanya, Hope (2017) Assessing the climate change vulnerability of freshwater fishes in Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Freshwater fish populations are rapidly declining globally due to the impacts of rapid climate change and existing non-climatic anthropogenic stressors. In response to these threats, freshwater fishes are responding by shifting their distribution range, altering the timing of migration and spawning and through demographic processes. To mitigate the future negative consequences, managers require novel tools that provide useful information on fish vulnerability to climate change to develop appropriate responses. A trait-based vulnerability assessments methodology was applied in this study to assess the vulnerability of 7 freshwater fishes in Newfoundland and Labrador of recreational and ecological importance. Twelve vulnerability indicators were developed and 26 freshwater fish experts were consulted using an online questionnaire survey to assesses each species vulnerability. Analysis of the survey results showed one species to be high/very highly vulnerable, two species were highly vulnerable while four species were moderately vulnerable to future changes with moderate confidence from the experts. Lake trout a native species showed the highest vulnerability while was rainbow trout a non-native species showed the lowest vulnerability to future changes. The results presented in this study are significant to resource managers because findings will allow for adaptive responses targeted at each species unique vulnerability drivers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 12917
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-79).
Keywords: Climate change, Vulnerability, Freshwater fish, Newfoundland and Labrador, Adaptation
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: July 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Freshwater fishes -- Climatic factors -- Newfoundland and Labrador; Freshwater fishes -- Conservation -- Newfoundland and Labrador; Rare fishes -- Newfoundland and Labrador

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