City, Country: France
French partner submitting the project description: International Office for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA)
Project Owner: International Office for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA)
Dates of project: 2012
A few words on the project…
The "Freshwater Fish Study in a context of Climate Change : Overview and Adaptive Measures" from the ONEMA’s "Savoir pour agir" (Understand to better act) series of publications shows and explains the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic pressures on fish populations. Results are telling and allow to make recommendations.
Background or General project description
Fish colonize almost all surface waters, occupy different levels on aquatic ecosystems’ trophic chains and show significant diversity in terms of ecological requirement. Thus they incorporate different types of anthropogenic pressures: fragmentation, eutrophication, chemical pollution, hydromorphological alterations ... and proved to be great aids for evaluating the ecological quality of aquatic environments, as in the case of the EU Water Frame-Directive (WFD).
ONEMA worked to produce a state of the knowledge about fish populations in french rivers. It shows that they are subjected to multiple pressures and among them, climate change. Studies considered offer projection for the 2070-2080 time periode.
Fish cannot always adapt to climate change, which can result in a risk of local extinction of certain species. A reduction in the average size of individual fish has also been noted.
Experts have reported :
- declines in habitats favorable to cold water species such as trout ;
- an increase in habitats favorable to species that live in temperate freshwater bodies, such as chub ;
- a local increase in the local number of species
Some recommendations emerged and among them :
- restore ecological continuity ;
- respect water regimes ;
- limit the warming of water ;
- maintain water quality.
Strengths of project
The project brings rich forecast for the french rivers’ fish populations and goes beyond, bringing recommendation on the table. It supplies support to decision for managers and policymakers concerning rivers and ecosystem management.