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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of climate and land-use changes on fish catches across lakes at a global scale

Kao, Yu-Chun; Rogers, Mark W.; Bunnell, David B.; Cowx, Ian G.; Qian, Song S.; Anneville, Orlane; Beard, T. Douglas, Jr.; Brinker, Alexander; Britton, J. Robert; Chura-Cruz, Rene; Gownaris, Natasha J.; Jackson, James R.; Kangur, Kulli; Kolding, Jeppe; Lukin, Anatoly A.; Lynch, Abigail J.; Mercado-Silva, Norman; Moncayo-Estrada, Rodrigo; Njaya, Friday J.; Ostrovsky, Ilia;
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Globally, our knowledge on lake fisheries is still limited despite their importance to food security and livelihoods. Here we show that fish catches can respond either positively or negatively to climate and land-use changes, by analyzing time-series data (1970-2014) for 31 lakes across five continents. We find that effects of a climate or land-use driver (e.g., air temperature) on lake environment could be relatively consistent in directions, but consequential changes in a lake-environmental factor (e.g., water temperature) could result in either increases or decreases in fish catch in a given lake. A subsequent correlation analysis indicates that reductions in fish catch was less likely to occur in response to potential climate and land-use changes if a lake is located in a region with greater access to clean water. This finding suggests that adequate investments for water-quality protection and water-use efficiency can provide additional benefits to lake fisheries and food security. Lake fisheries are vulnerable to environmental changes. Here, Kao et al. develop a Bayesian networks model to analyze time-series data from 31 major fisheries lake across five continents, showing that fish catches can respond either positively or negatively to climate and land-use changes.

Published in

Nature Communications
2020, Volume: 11, number: 1

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger
    SDG13 Climate action
    SDG14 Life below water

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Aquacultural Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)