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Rivers in cold 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 negatively 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. This section presents examples of species that according to scientific literature may be directly or indirectly affected by climate-driven changes in their environment. For each ecosystem type, different organism groups (phytoplankton/macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and fish) are be presented. The information is linked to the database of the website www.freshwaterecology.info. This section will be updated using recent scientific literature and results emanating from REFRESH tasks.

Plants

Arctic Marsh-grass | Arctophila fulva

[id: 170]
[ID-fwe: 597]

Common name:

Arctic Marsh-grass

Scientific name:

Arctophila fulva

Where to find:

Marshes, meadows and tundra

Climate change impact:

In terms of REFRESH, the most relevant habitats are slow moving arctic streams and their beds, which are vulnerable to climate change as it effects freezing/thawing seasonality and flooding.

Response description:

This grass is not included in the IUCN red list and is quite widespread in the Arctic (both Palaearctic and Nearctic): Circumpolar/circumboreal (gaps in North Atlantic area) including northern Fennoscandia, Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and the Polar Ural (also in parts of Siberia, Alaska, Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador, Hudson Bay and West Greenland). A. fulva is found in wet places, mainly arctic i.e. wet meadows, pond margins (and emergent), marshes, along streams (and sandy beds), river terraces, lakeshores, wet tundra. A. fulva can occur as an aquatic and in imperfectly or moderately-well drained moist areas. Substrates include rock (rocky bottom of shallow ponds), sand (sometimes stony) and silt (most often), with soil/water chemistry acidic, calcareous (e.g. marine deposits over acidic bedrock) or circumneutral. A. fulva grows in or at the edge of shallow clear, tundra ponds, lakes, slow moving streams, wetlands close to sea level and water bodies where ice disappears early in the summer. Some otherwise suitable habitats may be eliminated by onshore thrusting of lake ice.

More about the species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/

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Autecological characteristics, ecological preferences, biological traits, distribution patterns

http://www.freshwaterecology.info/TaxaDB_mphSearch.php

Cordate flapwort | Jungermannia exsertifolia

[id: 67]
[ID-fwe: 610]

Common name:

Cordate flapwort

Scientific name:

Jungermannia exsertifolia

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperature

Response description:

In the treeless regions of the Arctic and sub-Arctic, streams are less affected by shade and thus more likely to be nutrient limited than light limited, as are streams in forested areas. There may also be greater eutrophication as areas previously undeveloped become farmed as temperatures rise.

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http://www.freshwaterecology.info/TaxaDB_mphSearch.php

Sudetic Lousewort (USA) | Pedicularis sudetica

[id: 164]

Common name:

Sudetic Lousewort (USA)

Scientific name:

Pedicularis sudetica

Where to find:

Bogs and wet forest

Climate change impact:

As with other montane and alpine species associated with flushes, this plant is vulnerable to changes in the timing and amount of flow. Sudeten populations may be especially vulnerable as apparent relicts from a mainly Arctic and Subarctic distribution. Though typical of smaller stream edges, this species may have some relevance to REFRESH.

Response description:

Not in the IUCN red list, this plant occurs in Arctic and Subarctic Asia and America, as well as locally in Europe. The main centre in Europe is in Arctic Russia together with the north and central Urals, but with an outlying area in the Sudeten Mountains on the border of Poland and the Czech Republic. Within these Central European sites it grows in very wet habitats at 1150-1450 m asl especially in peat bogs at the edge of springs and streams in the subalpine zone, as well as wet forest edges ? always on acid soils. Further north in Europe, it again grows in bogs and flushes, but also in mossy tundra. None of the Polish populations exceed 100 individuals at any one site. Threats include altered hydrology, air pollution and the impacts of tourism/skiing, though the species is noted as vulnerable to any change in soil, climate and hydrology.

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.

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Non-biting midge | Diamesa goetghebueri

[id: 7]
[ID-fwe: 7777]

Common name:

Non-biting midge

Scientific name:

Diamesa goetghebueri

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased temperature

Response description:

Occurence of Diamesa goetghebueri is limited to glacier brooks and springs. Higher temperatures (during low flow periods) and higher availability of organic matter in these uppemost sections of brooks would lead to the replacement of D. goetghebueri and some other characteristic species by other macroinvertebrates. Communities predominated by non-biting midges such as Diamesa spp., Eukieferiella minor, Pseudodiamesa arctica, and Pseudokieferiella parva are primary colonizers of habitats with extreme thermal conditions and limited sources of organic matter. With rising temperatures the entire community will be lost.

Reference:

Serra-Tosio, B. (1972) Ecologie et biogeographie des Diamesini dEurope (Diptera, Chironomidae). Travaux du Laboratoire d Hydrobiologie et de Pisciculture de Grenoble 63: 5-175.

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Non-biting midge | Diamesa latitarsis

[id: 8]
[ID-fwe: 4936]

Common name:

Non-biting midge

Scientific name:

Diamesa latitarsis

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased temperature

Response description:

Glacier and snowpack loss resulting in decrease of meltwater contributions to streamflow cause reduced abundance of D. latitarsis. The species is replaced by other invertebrates, such as Habroleptoides berthelemyi, Perla grandis and Rhithrogena spp., while other cold-adapted species such as Rhyacophila angelieri are reduced.

Reference:

Brown, L.E., D.M. Hannah and A.M. Milner (2007): Vulnerability of alpine stream biodiversity to shrinking glaciers and snowpacks. Global Change Biology 13(5): 958-966.

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Non-biting midge | Diamesa lindrothi

[id: 9]
[ID-fwe: 7213]

Common name:

Non-biting midge

Scientific name:

Diamesa lindrothi

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased temperature

Response description:

The larvae of Diamesa lindrothi predominate in uppermost zone of glacier-brooks. It is adapted to low amplitude and low summer maxima of water temperature. Spinning a net over small cavities in rocks allows them to survive under conditions of fast current velocity and substratum shifts. Reduction of glaciers would have detrimental effect on the specific kryon communities (replacement by more diverse and less specialised fauna from downstream reaches). Similar effects can be predicted for other cold-adapted organisms.

Reference:

Steffan, A.W. (1971): Chironomid (Diptera) biocoenoses in Scandinavian glacier brooks. Canadian Entomologist 103: 477-486.

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Non-biting midge | Rheocricotopus fuscipes

[id: 36]
[ID-fwe: 6700]

Common name:

Non-biting midge

Scientific name:

Rheocricotopus fuscipes

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperature

Response description:

Rheocricotopus fuscipes is a cold-adapted species which predominate in headwater streams. Climate change is expected to increase air and water temperatures, reducing suitable habitats for this species. Temperatures increasing beyond the species? tolerances may eventually lead to extinction of this chironomid species under the A2a scenario.

Reference:

Domisch S., Jaehnig S.C. and Haase P. (2011) Climate-change winners and losers: stream macroinvertebrates of a submontane region in Central Europe. Freshwater Biology 56, 2009-2020.

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Fish

Arctic char | Salvelinus alpinus

[id: 24]
[ID-fwe: 287]

Common name:

Arctic char

Scientific name:

Salvelinus alpinus

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperature
hydrology

Response description:

The Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.) is a holarctic salmonid with the most northerly distribution of any freshwater fish. The fish are regarded as one of the most cold- adapted of all salmonids: they continue to feed and grow at temperatures as low as 0.3anddeg;C and preferred temperatures are low (c. 12anddeg;C ), even compared with other salmonids. Arctic char is sensitive to water pollution and prefers cold, well oxygenated waters (temperature range 4-16anddeg;C). Lethal temperatures for juvenile S. alpinus are in around 23anddeg;C. Arctic char is sensitive to water pollution and prefers cold, well oxygenated waters (temperature range 4-16anddeg;C). Non-migratory populations stay in lakes and rivers all year round. Charr may be first affected in shallow lakes owing to the absence of a cold-water hypolimnion refuge and within deep lakes, the effect will be first in eutrophic lakes where oxygen levels in the hypolimnion are low, but later in the warming process also in oligotrophic lakes.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Salvelinus-alpinus+alpinus.html

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Arctic cisco | Coregonus autumnalis

[id: 59]
[ID-fwe: 487]

Common name:

Arctic cisco

Scientific name:

Coregonus autumnalis

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperature, Competition by exotic species

Response description:

Fish such as Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis), are examples of Arctic Guild species. The pervasive and ultimate impacts of climate change upon such species are likely to be negative. These impacts generally will appear as range contractions northwards driven by thermal warming that exceeds preferences or tolerances; related habitat changes; and/or increased competition, predation, or disease resulting from southern taxa extending their range northwards, possibly preceded by local reductions in growth, productivity, and perhaps abundance. Many of these effects will possibly be driven or exacerbated by shifts in the life history of some species (e.g., from anadromy to freshwater only). Other than conceptual summaries, no detailed research has been conducted to outline such impacts for most fish species of this guild.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Coregonus-autumnalis.html

Reference:

Reist J.D., Wrona F.J., Prowse T.D., Power M., Dempson J.B., Beamish R.J., et al. (2006) General effects of climate change on Arctic fishes and fish populations. Ambio 35, 370-80.

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

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Atlantic salmon | Salmo salar

[id: 29]
[ID-fwe: 283]

Common name:

Atlantic salmon

Scientific name:

Salmo salar

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperature

Response description:

The salmonids are coldwater species with high oxygen demands, and the expected rise in temperature may extirpate populations, especially at the southern end of their distribution range where small populations face the greatest risk. Temperature limits the geographical distribution boundaries of these species. Populations are extirpated if the water temperature exceeds the ultimate upper lethal temperature, given that the fish have no access to a suitable coldwater refuge. An effect of high water temperature is low oxygen content in the water. In oxygen saturated water, dissolved O2 content decreases by c. 2% per 1anddeg;C increase in temperature at 18anddeg;C and a barometric pressure of 760 mm Hg, a little more in colder and less in warmer waters (Atkins, 1998). Oxygen deficits accompanied by pollutants can cause egg mortality. With low water With low water flow, gravel interstices can be clogged by fine sediment which reduces the intragravel oxygen supply to eggs and alevins.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Salmo-salar.html

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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:

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Broad whitefish | Coregonus nasus

[id: 58]
[ID-fwe: 838]

Common name:

Broad whitefish

Scientific name:

Coregonus nasus

Will it be a winner or a loser:

Loser

Climate change impact:

Increased water temperature, Competition by exotic species

Response description:

The broad whitefish (Coregonus nasus) is likely to be negativly affected by climate change. These impacts generally will appear as range contractions northwards driven by thermal warming that exceeds preferences or tolerances; related habitat changes; and/or increased competition, predation, or disease resulting from southern taxa extending their range northwards, possibly preceded by local reductions in growth, productivity, and perhaps abundance. Many of these effects will possibly be driven or exacerbated by shifts in the life history of some species (e.g., from anadromy to freshwater only). Other than conceptual summaries, no detailed research has been conducted to outline such impacts for most fish species of this guild.

More about the species:

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Coregonus-nasus.html

Reference:

Reist J.D., Wrona F.J., Prowse T.D., Power M., Dempson J.B., Beamish R.J., et al. (2006) General effects of climate change on Arctic fishes and fish populations. Ambio 35, 370-80.

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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Climate Change and Freshwater
Online: http://www.climate-and-freshwater.info/climate_change/rivers/cold/affected_species/
Date: 2017/11/21
© 2017 University of Duisburg-Essen | Faculty of Biology, Aquatic Ecology, All rights reserved.