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Lakes in warm ecoregions - affected species

Climate change will have impacts on freshwaters through changes in hydrology e.g. through more frequent floods, but mainly through increased temperatures. Water temperature is a main determinant of water quality (such as oxygen concentration) and an increase will lead to chain of events that may affect community composition. In cold ecoregions, for example, extension of the ice-free period and increased water temperature will lead to enhance primary production and eutrophication, desynchronise life cycles and cause physiological problems for cold-adapted species. Cold-water stenothermic species which inhabit alpine stream environments for example are especially vulnerable to warming and snow loss (Brown et al. 2007). In, warmer regions, such as the Mediterranean, normal interannual variations are expected to be more extreme and this together with elevated temperatures and salinities would result in more frequent harsh conditions to the local biota. In central European regions temperature raise is predicted to lead to the extinction of sensitive species, such as several aquatic insects (Stoneflies) and fishes such as the European bullhead (Cottus gobio) (Logez et al., 2012). The spreading of invasive or alien species is also expected to occur in a more rapid way as habitats will become more suitable for invasion and establishment.

This section presents examples of species that according to current scientific literature may be positivly or negativaly affected by climate change (“winners” or “losers”). For each ecosystem type (rivers, lakes and wetlands) and ecoregion (cold, temperate and warm) and different organism groups (phytoplankton/macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and fish) are presented.

Plants

Aconit de Corse (France) | Aconitum corsicum

[id: 151]

Common name:

Aconit de Corse (France)

Scientific name:

Aconitum corsicum

Where to find:

Margins in uplands

Climate change impact:

The fact that this is a narrow endemic with a highly restricted range suggests that it will be vulnerable to climate change in the Mediterranean region. However the plant is fairly catholic in its habitats and, though associated with rivers in some cases, there is no immediate reason to infer that it will be especially vulnerable to altered eco-hydrology of the riparian zone under climate change.

Response description:

A. corsicum is endemic to southern Corsica, growing in 58 localities in four communities, with an occupancy area of just 4.65 km2, but a population size of >100,000 individuals. The taxon appears to be stable in all localities or increasing, maybe due to changes in agricultural practices. A. corsicum grows in montane and subalpine habitats, banks of rivers and pools, meadows, forest clearings and forest edges. The habitat of the species is stable. The main threats to the species are an improved access to its sites, motorised vehicles, roads and motorways. Animal breeding is said to affect the species as well as fires.

More about the species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/161861/0

European Water Clover or Water Shamrock | Marsilea quadrifolia

[id: 203]
[ID-fwe: 1069]

Common name:

European Water Clover or Water Shamrock

Scientific name:

Marsilea quadrifolia

Where to find:

Rice fields and ditches

Climate change impact:

The habitat is widespread and the inclusion of M. quadrifolia in the Habitats Directive reflects its restricted distribution and perceived decline in the EU (especially those states that were members at the time the directive was originally drafted). The plant occurs both in shallow water and in the drawdown zone ? hence it is vulnerable to any change in climate that might affect the depth and seasonality of this habitat. However, M. quadrifolia rarely occurs associated with rivers (being mainly a still-water plant) and is thus of only marginal relevance to REFRESH.

Response description:

M. quadrifolia occurs throughout much of southern Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, FYR Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine. It also occurs east to China (where it is widespread) and Japan, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, and is present in United States. Within Europe it occurs along many of the major river valleys (e.g. Loire, Po and parts of the Danube catchment), as well as in complexes of wetlands throughout central and southern Europe. It grows in still waters such as ponds, rice fields and ditches and IUCN reports no major threats.

More about the species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/161864/0

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Floating Water-plantain | Luronium natans

[id: 200]
[ID-fwe: 225]

Common name:

Floating Water-plantain

Scientific name:

Luronium natans

Climate change impact:

Found over a wide bioclimatic range including the Atlantic, Continental and Mediterranean regions, L. natans is probably quite tolerant of some climatic shift, but where altered climate leads to changes in the water regime of rivers (flow, depth, volume, flooding and seasonality), some damage to its populations is likely.

Response description:

This European endemic (west and central) is widespread but has locally suffered declines and faces a range of threats such as the modification of its aquatic habitats or water pollution. However, as the populations do not appear likely to become extinct imminently, Luronium is classed by IUCN as of Least Concern. Data quality and coverage for distribution/abundance vary over its range. The confirmed range of Luronium includes: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain (mainland), Sweden and the UK. Luronium is very rare in Scandinavia, Ireland, Spain and the Czech Republic as well as much reduced in Poland. The plant is much commoner in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK (where it ascends to 450 m altitude). Population levels often fluctuate and Luronium can be found in and along a wide range of water bodies e.g. in Sweden in small bodies that are shallow clear and non-eutrophic (often on sand) whilst in Spain, if occurs at the edges of pools and lakes as well as in stream/river backwaters. In terms of the Habitats Directive, L. natans is noted for 19 designated habitats (those underlined being riverine or riparian): 3110 Oligotrophic waters containing very few minerals of sandy plains, 3120 Oligotrophic waters containing very few minerals generally on sandy soils of the West Mediterranean with Isoetes spp., 3130 Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the Isoeto-Nanojuncetea, 3140 Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp., 3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition type vegetation, 3160 Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds, 3170 Mediterranean temporary ponds, 3220 Alpine rivers and the herbaceous vegetation along their banks, 3260 Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation, 3270 Rivers with muddy banks with Chenopodion rubri p.p. and Bidention p.p. vegetation, 3280 Constantly flowing Mediterranean rivers with Paspalo-Agrostidion species and hanging curtains of Salix and Populus alba, 4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix, 4020 Temperate Atlantic wet heaths with Erica ciliaris and E. tetralix, 4090 Endemic oro-Mediterranean heaths with gorse, 7120 Degraded raised bogs still capable of natural regeneration, 7130 Blanket bogs, 7140 Transition mires and quaking bogs, 91E0 Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior, and 91F0 Riparian mixed forests of Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis and U. minor, Fraxinus excelsior or F. angustifolia, along the great rivers. The main threats to Luronium are habitat destruction/degradation through water and soil pollution (pesticides, fertilisers) and eutrophication. Modification of hydrological regimes is a major threat e.g. canalisation (or other modification of watercourses), water-level management, drainage and management of bank vegetation. Filling of water bodies or sediment removal can affect populations, as can altered agricultural practice, abandonment of pastoral systems and unfavourable forest management. Aquaculture and recreational activities (fishing, nautical sports, walking, horse-riding and non-motorised vehicles) are also reported as having negative impacts.

More about the species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/162134/0

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Waterwheel Plant | Aldrovanda vesiculosa

[id: 167]
[ID-fwe: 6]

Common name:

Waterwheel Plant

Scientific name:

Aldrovanda vesiculosa

Climate change impact:

There is little evidence that the almost universal decline in A. vesiculosa is related to climate and the extremely widespread historical range suggests wide tolerance. Thus though certainly declining in its riparian habitats, this trend results from factors other than climate.

Response description:

The IUCN Red List provides a detailed account of the distributional history of this plant in Europe, Asia and Africa (which see). Historically, A. vesiculosa occurred throughout western, central, southern, northern and eastern Europe, from coastal areas in western and southern France, throughout northern and central Italy, Austria and Germany to Poland, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Montenegro, Ukraine, Romania, Russia (Caucasus, Volga, Ussuri, Amur, Lipetsk and St Petersburg areas), Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey. It was scattered throughout Asia: Bangladesh, India, Manchuria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Korea and Japan, south to East Timor and several coastal areas around Australia. In Africa, populations have been recorded in Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. Presently, this species is scarce in Europe: Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia (St Petersburg and Lipetsk areas), Serbia and Ukraine, as well as persisting in N and SE Australia, Botswana and South Africa. Habitats: Amongst the habitats cited for Europe in the comprehensive breakdown of the locations (past and present) of A. vesiculosa in the IUCN Red Lists are: lakes (sometimes on peaty floodplains and as oxbows), moats, fishponds, canals and drainage channels, creeks, river channels/margins, river deltas, amongst emergent reeds and swamps. There have been catastrophic declines in many countries of Europe with numerous extinctions. However, Lake Ladoga east of St Petersburg represents the largest and most stable extant site in the world (population estimated to be in the millions, with A. vesiculosa the dominant species). The IUCN habitat description refers to a wide variety, from small fens and billabongs to lakes, lagoons and river deltas. While infrequently observed in mesotrophic lakes and eutrophic habitats (e.g. fishponds and rice paddies), it is native to nutrient impoverished oligo-mesotrophic and dystrophic (humic) systems. The stenotopic nature and reliance upon carnivory limits the species distribution to specific microhabitats dominated by loose and species-poor plant communities. These are generally shallow backwaters or the littoral zone of larger lakes, where competition with other aquatic species forming dense stands is reduced or absent and are typically areas experiencing little variation in water level throughout the growing season. This species is extremely intolerant of habitat degradation, and even slight changes to water chemistry can result in local extinction. Climate: In terms of its relationship with climate, A. vesiculosa overwinters as turions that sink to the bottom of the water where temperatures are stable/warmer during winter, though losses occur as turions are washed ashore, grazed or killed by frost. In latitudes with very mild winters, it may grow year-round with no overwintering period. While plants from warmer climates are known to bloom more profusely/regularly, these flowers open only briefly and often fail to develop fruit. The primary dispersive agent in it is likely to be vegetative via stem fragments or turions, transported externally by birds between suitable habitats. Threats: According to a review (2011) of conservation threats to carnivorous plants, this species is threatened primarily by residential and commercial development, agriculture and aquaculture, natural systems modification and pollution. The Commission of the European Union (2009) also lists acidification, canalisation, desilting, drainage, eutrophication, forestry clearance, gravel extraction, mining, pollution, hydrological modification and limited dispersal. It is believed that some illegal trade also occurs in A. vesiculosa. Habitat degradation is common throughout the speciesà entire range, and very few sites, including those within conservation reserves, remain pristine.

More about the species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/162346/0

Search for more information about this species or other macrophytes on freshwaterecology.info:

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Macroinvertebrates

Globular pea mussel | Pisidium hibernicum

[id: 16]
[ID-fwe: 7804]

Common name:

Globular pea mussel

Scientific name:

Pisidium hibernicum

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased temperature

Response description:

Restricted to high-mountain areas in the Mediterranean, mainly small streams and glacial lakes, that will disappear or be altered with temperature increase.

More about the species:

http://www.animalbase.uni-goettingen.de/zooweb/servlet/AnimalBase/home/species?id=2755

Reference:

Araujo, R. (2006): Pisidium hibernicum Westerlund, 1894. In: Verdo and Galante (eds.): Libro Rojo de los Invertebrados de Espana. Direccion General para la Biodiversidad, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Madrid.

Search for more information about this species or other macroinvertebrates on freshwaterecology.info:

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Peaclam | Pisidium lilljeborgii

[id: 44]
[ID-fwe: 7382]

Common name:

Peaclam

Scientific name:

Pisidium lilljeborgii

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Eutrophication

Response description:

Sensitive to contamination and eutrophication and the competition by invasive molluscs, which will be supported by climate change.

More about the species:

http://www.animalbase.uni-goettingen.de/zooweb/servlet/AnimalBase/home/species?id=2753

Search for more information about this species or other macroinvertebrates on freshwaterecology.info:

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Yellow-winged darter | Sympetrum flaveolum

[id: 48]
[ID-fwe: 6946]

Click to enlarge

Common name:

Yellow-winged darter

Scientific name:

Sympetrum flaveolum

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Toxic substances

Response description:

In Southern Europe, the nymphs of this dragonfly live in oligotrophic lakes with submerged vegetation, at high altitudes. Temperature and vegetation of these habitats are likely to be altered by Climate Change.

More about the species:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow-winged_darter

Reference:

Ott J. (2010). Dragonflies and limatic change - recent trends in Germany and Europe. BioRisk 5: 253-286.

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Fish

Bermejuela | Chondrostoma arcasii

[id: 6]

Common name:

Bermejuela

Scientific name:

Chondrostoma arcasii

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased temperature

Response description:

Its populations are affected by an increased temperatures due to its ecological requirements. Due to its role as predator and its typical association with the brown trout its disappearance would affect the food web.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Achondrostoma-arcasii.html

Reference:

Doadrio, I. (ed.) (2001): Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Peces Continentales de Espana. Direccion General de Conservacion de la Naturaleza. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientaficas. Madrid: 167-169.

Search for more information about this species or other fish on freshwaterecology.info:

Autecological characteristics, ecological preferences, biological traits, distribution patterns

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Mosquitofish, Gambusia | Gambusia holbrooki

[id: 11]
[ID-fwe: 873]

Common name:

Mosquitofish, Gambusia

Scientific name:

Gambusia holbrooki

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Winner

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperaure

Response description:

Gambusia holbrooki reproductive rate will be favored by higher water temperatures, expanding its distribution. Mosquitofish compete with native fish (e.g. Aphanius iberus, Valencia hispanica) and predate on native larval anurans so that reduced predation pressure on mosquitofish due to warmer temperatures can have negative implications for these aquatic communities.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Gambusia-holbrooki.html

Reference:

Doadrio, I. (ed.) (2001): Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Peces Continentales de Espana. Direccion General de Conservacion de la Naturaleza. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientaficas. Madrid: 240-241.

Search for more information about this species or other fish on freshwaterecology.info:

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Spanish toothcarp | Aphanius iberus

[id: 50]
[ID-fwe: 301]

Common name:

Spanish toothcarp

Scientific name:

Aphanius iberus

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Competition by exotic species, increased water temperaure

Response description:

A. iberus is threatened due to their limited and isolated distribution. During the last three decades there has been a progressive loss and alteration of its habitat especially as a result of an intensive agriculture and tourism development. Current threats to its habitats and its populations include the destruction of habitats, water pollution and the introduction of exotic species, mainly Gambusia holbrooki which appear to have displaced A. iberus from its habitat as they are competitors for habitat and food. Inland populations are restricted to small creeks and are threatened by the depletion of water levels in local aquifers; its survival depends on strict control over the use of groundwater resources.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Aphanius-iberus.html.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_toothcarp

Reference:

Oliva-Paterna, F. J., Torralva, M., and Fernandez-Delgado, C. (2006). Threatened Fishes of the World: Aphanius iberus (Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1846) (Cyprinodontidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 75(3), 307-309. doi:10.1007/s10641-006-0016-2

Search for more information about this species or other fish on freshwaterecology.info:

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Valencia toothcarp | Valencia hispanica

[id: 49]
[ID-fwe: 328]

Common name:

Valencia toothcarp

Scientific name:

Valencia hispanica

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperaure

Response description:

Warming of in southern regions enables the establishment of alien species, such as Gambusia affinis holbrooki which occupy similar niches as local fish; outcompeting Valencia hispanica.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Valencia-hispanica.html

Reference:

Jeppesen E., Mehner T., Winfield I.J., Kangur K., Sarvala J., Gerdeaux D., et al. (2012) Impacts of climate warming on the long-term dynamics of key fish species in 24 European lakes. Hydrobiologia 694, 1-39.

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Climate Change and Freshwater
Online: http://www.climate-and-freshwater.info/climate_change/lakes/warm/affected_species/
Date: 2017/05/27
© 2017 University of Duisburg-Essen | Faculty of Biology, Aquatic Ecology, All rights reserved.