BiographyStuart Ludsin is currently an Assistant Professor in the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory within The Ohio State University’s Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. He currently is a member of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s Board of Technical Experts and previously worked as a Fisheries Research Biologist with the NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. His research explores mechanisms that regulate fish population and community dynamics in Great Lakes, estuarine, coastal ocean, and inland reservoir ecosystems and applies this ecological understanding to resource management problems
Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Technical Appendix: Fish Responses to Climate Change
Because the body temperature of a fish is essentially equal to the water surrounding the animal, changes in water temperatures that exceed normal seasonal fluctuation or last longer than these natural variations can negatively impact the distribution of fish in a body of water, as well as the health of individual populations. This article provides some examples of how climate change and related changes in water temperature could affect fish populations in the Great Lakes, including impacts of invasive species, dissolved heavy metals pollution, and overall water temperature changes. Emphasis is also placed on how those changes would affect fisheries in the Great Lakes region.
Ecological Vulnerability to Climate Change: Aquatic Ecosystems
This chapter from a larger report discusses the impact of climate change on aquatic ecosystems, including lake ecosystems like the Great Lakes, rivers and streams like the Olentangy River, and wetland ecosystems like swamp areas. Shorter informational segments also examine concrete possible impacts of a changing climate: “dead” zones in Lake Erie, disappearing song birds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the economic impacts of climate change on aquatic systems.
Potential impacts of global climate change on freshwater fisheries
Climate change caused by greenhouse gases has permanently altered temperatures, precipitation and weather patterns on earth. The effects of climate change on aquatic systems will likely include higher water temperatures, decreased dissolved oxygen levels, and increased pollution effects. These fluctuations would impact fish habitats and physiology, and could alter food webs as fish species shift their ranges to follow their preferred water conditions northward. The article also discussed the impacts of these changes on commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as the effects of human adaptation to a changing climate on aquatic ecosystems, and suggests some management strategies to sustain freshwater fisheries.
Seasonal and interannual effects of hypoxia on fish habitat quality in central Lake Erie
Hypoxia occurs seasonally in many aquatic ecosystems when the dissolved oxygen concentration at the bottom of a lake drops below a certain concentration. This research project examines the effects of hypoxia on fish habitat quality in Lake Erie over time, using a number of fish species as examples. Results showed that tolerance to low oxygen levels varies across fish species as well as between different life stages within the same species. Considering that warmer water generally holds less oxygen that colder water, these results suggest that increased water temperatures due to climate change could alter the distribution of different fish species in Lake Erie, potentially impacting population dynamics, feeding interactions between species, and commercial and recreational fisheries that depend on these fish species.