Modeling the Effects of Climate Change On Growth and Abundance of Lake Fishes in Michigan

Thursday, September 12, 2013: 1:00 PM
Marriott Ballroom C (The Marriott Little Rock)
Kevin Wehrly , Institute for Fisheries Research, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ann Arbor, MI
James Breck , Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Institute for Fisheries Research, Ann Arbor, MI
Zhenming Su , Department of Natural Resources and University of Michigan, Institute for Fisheries Research, Ann Arbor, MI
Li Wang , Internation Joint Commission, Windsor, ON, Canada
Understanding how climate changes will impact lake habitats and fishes is critical for developing effective management and conservation strategies.  To better understand the vulnerability of inland lake resources to climate change, we first characterized the landscape context of Michigan lakes across multiple spatial scales. We then used classification trees to develop models predicting growth and abundance of Michigan lake fishes based upon landscape variables.  Models included variables that characterize lake position, size, connectivity, and thermal regime.  We then used these models to estimate current statewide patterns of species growth and abundance, and to assess how these patterns will likely change under projected climate change scenarios.