Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Influence of climate change and extreme weather events on an estuarine fish community.

Abstract

Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change, and the increasing frequency of these events may lead to significant changes in fish assemblages. In this sense, this work aimed to study the effects of climate change and extreme weather events on fish assemblages in the Rio Minho estuary (Portugal). Between 2010 and 2019, continuous weekly sampling with fyke nets was carried out to assess the dynamics of fish assemblages in the estuary. In addition, temperature and precipitation data were obtained from satellite information to assess the relationship between climatic variables and fish composition, structure, and diversity. Fish populations changed significantly over time, becoming less diverse and largely dominated by a few, mostly invasive species (e.g., carp, goldfish, pumpkinseed, and tench), while the abundance of most native species declined over the years (e.g., panjorca, stickleback, and shad). High temperatures and low precipitation negatively affected native species, while the invasive species benefited from increased temperatures and extreme weather events (droughts and floods).