Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Corresponding long-term shifts in stream temperature and invasive fish migration.

Abstract

By investigating historic trapping records of invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) throughout tributaries to the Laurentian Great Lakes, we found that upstream spawning migration timing was highly correlated with stream temperatures over large spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore, several streams in our study exceeded a critical spring thermal threshold (i.e., 15°C) and experienced peak spawning migration up to 30 days earlier than in the 1980s, whereas others were relatively unchanged. Streams exhibiting warming trends and earlier migration were spatially clustered and generally found on the leeward side of the Great Lakes where the lakes most affect local climate. These findings highlight that all streams are not equally impacted by climate change and represent, to our knowledge, the first observation linking long-term changes in stream temperatures to shifts in migration timing of an invasive fish. Earlier sea lamprey migration in Great Lakes tributaries may improve young of the year growth and survival but not limit their spatial distribution, making sea lamprey control more challenging.