According to global climate change models, e,g. that from the Columbia
University Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Minnesota's mean air
temperature will increase by an annual average of approximately 4.0 'C if
atmospheric C02 doubles. This is likely to have many environmental
consequences, including changes in lake water temperatures and dissolved
oxygen concentrations which in turn are likely to affect fish populations.
This interaction between climate parameters, lake water quality parameters
and fish populations has been investigated through model simulations of
Minnesota lakes. Previous results of this study were summarized in
September 1991 (Stefan et al., 1991, 1992). Specifically the description of
fish habitat is extended herein to include lake benthic area, in addition to
lake volume used in the previous report. The findings are as follows: After
the projected climate change, good growth habitat bottom area (GGHA) and
good growth habitat volume (GGHV) will be reduced for coldwater fish. In
contrast, GGHA and GGRV will be increased for coolwater and warmwater
fish. Coldwater, coolwater and warmwater fish habitat will change
approximately by the same percentage in terms of GGHA or GGHV. The
reduction in good growth habitat area or volume for coldwater fishes will be
about twice as high for southern Minnesota as it will be for northern
Minnesota lakes. The increases for cool water and wa.rmwater fishes will be
three times greater for northern Minnesota lakes than for southern Minnesota
lakes. The models I and assessment techniques employed to derive these
conclusions can serve as templates for analysis of projected climate change
impacts in other regions.
Environmental Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency
Stefan, H. G.; Hondzo, M..
Predicted Effects of Global Climate Change on Fishes of Minnesota Lakes.
St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory.
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