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Effects of warming on the interactions between fish species

Research project ,

A warmer climate allows warm adapted species like perch, pike and roach to colonize cold lakes. In this project we study how invasion by these species affect resident species like brown trout, Arctic char, grayling and whitefish.

Head of project

Göran Englund
Professor emeritus

Project overview

Project period:

Start date: 2010-01-01

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Research area

Biological sciences, Ecology, Zoology and ethology

External funding

  • Project members

    External project members

    Anders Finstad
    Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU University Museum, Trondheim
    Gunnar Öhlund Researcher, SLU
    Raoul Marie Couture Research Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Canada

Project description

Climate warming have direct effects on the outcome of species interactions because different species prefer different temperatures. Warming also leads to different indirect effects. A particularly important indirect effect is the increased transport of brown humic substances from terrestrial to aquatic systems. This brownification affects the feeding efficiency of visually feeding fish species but it also have effects on the physical and chemical environment, such as mixing conditions and oxygen concentrations.

In this project we use empirical data to build models of coexistence niches, which describes under what conditions fish species can coexist. For example, we have shown the brown trout only coexist with pike in lakes that are large, unless they are very cold. We are now building models of the coexistence niche for pike and Arctic char. Here we find that Arctic char only coexist with pike in deep, cold and clear lakes.

External funding

Latest update: 2020-02-27