This is Section 8.5 of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
Lead Authors: Frederick J.Wrona,Terry D. Prowse, James D. Reist; Contributing Authors: Richard Beamish, John J. Gibson, John Hobbie, Erik Jeppesen, Jackie King, Guenter Koeck, Atte Korhola, Lucie Lévesque, Robie Macdonald, Michael Power,Vladimir Skvortsov,Warwick Vincent; Consulting Authors: Robert Clark, Brian Dempson, David Lean, Hannu Lehtonen, Sofia Perin, Richard Pienitz, Milla Rautio, John Smol, Ross Tallman, Alexander Zhulidov
Fish and wildlife intimately associated with arctic freshwater and estuarine systems are of great significance to local human populations (Chapter 3) as well as significant keystone components of the ecosystems (see e.g., section 8.2). Accordingly, interest in understanding the impacts of climate change on these components is very high. However, in addition to the problems outlined in section 8.1.1, detailed understanding of climate change impacts on higher-order biota is complicated by a number of factors:
Fish and wildlife will experience first-order effects (e.g., increased growth in arctic taxa due to warmer conditions and higher productivity) of climate change as well as large numbers of second-order effects (e.g., increased competition with species extending their distribution northward). The responses of such biota will integrate these sources in complex and not readily discernible ways; further, responses to climate change will be embedded within those resulting from other impacts such as exploitation and habitat alteration, and it may be impossible to differentiate these. These multiple impacts are likely to act cumulatively or synergistically to affect arctic taxa.
Higher-level ecosystem components affect lower levels in the ecosystem (i.e., top-down control) and in turn are affected by changes in those levels (i.e., bottom-up control).The balance between such controlling influences may shift in indiscernible ways in response to climate change.
Higher-level ecosystem components typically migrate seasonally between habitats or areas key to their life histories – arctic freshwater fishes and aquatic mammals may do so locally, and aquatic birds tend to do so globally between arctic and non-arctic areas.Thus, the effects of climate change on such organisms will represent the integrated impacts across numerous habitats that indirectly affect the species of interest.
These biotic circumstances increase the uncertainty associated with developing understanding of speciesspecific responses to climate change, particularly for key fish and other aquatic species that are of economic and ecological importance to arctic freshwater ecosystems and the communities of northern residents that depend on them.
Chapter 8: Freshwater Ecosystems and Fisheries
8.2. Freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic
8.3. Historical changes in freshwater ecosystems
8.4. Climate change effects
8.4.1. Broad-scale effects on freshwater systems
8.4.2. Effects on hydro-ecology of contributing basins
8.4.3. Effects on general hydro-ecology
8.4.4. Changes in aquatic biota and ecosystem structure and function
8.5. Climate change effects on arctic fish, fisheries, and aquatic wildlife
8.5.1. Information required to project responses of arctic fish
8.5.2. Approaches to projecting climate change effects on arctic fish populations
8.5.3. Climate change effects on arctic freshwater fish populations
8.5.4. Effects of climate change on arctic anadromous fish
8.5.5. Impacts on arctic freshwater and anadromous fisheries
8.5.6. Impacts on aquatic birds and mammals
8.6. Ultraviolet radiation effects on freshwater ecosystems
8.7. Global change and contaminants
8.8. Key findings, science gaps, and recommendations