Global Stressors, Regional Impacts: How Will Climate Change Influence Future Cisco (Coregonus Artedii) Distributions in Ontario? Are Sport Fish Mercury Levels Affected By Climate?
MetadataShow full item record
As global air temperatures rise and precipitation events fluctuate as a result of climate change, environmental conditions for many freshwater fish are expected to change. Fish are particularly sensitive to climate change as their distributions and contaminant loads are influenced by water temperatures. My study focuses on two main objectives: (1) how the distributions of cisco (Coregonus artedii) may be altered by future climate change and (2) the role of climate and industrial emissions on fish mercury trends in Ontario. Data were obtained from multiple government and open sources. Future cisco occurrence models demonstrated a decline of 7-47% by 2070. Trend analysis and models of mercury levels in sport fish revealed increasing rates (0.2-0.4 ug/g/decade) within recent years, particularly influenced by changes in local climate. This period of rapid environmental change demands further investigation, to better inform fisheries management decisions and consumption advisories at various spatial and temporal scales.