Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Extreme winters impact fish negatively

14.02.2013
Ecologists from Umeå University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim have studied fish communities and the living environments of fish and put together a compilation of the importance of winter conditions for fish in streams and rivers in cold regions. The findings are now being published in the journal BioScience.

It is well known that winter can be a stressful season for plants and animals in streams and rivers. It is reasonable to assume that it is the more extreme weather conditions that are the most taxing, but the ecological significance of this is poorly understood.


It is difficult to be a fish when the bottom of the river is covered with ice. Winter image from the river Orkla in Norway. Photo: Knut Alfredsen

The research team, headed by Professor Christer Nilsson at Umeå University, describes how extreme conditions – especially those associated with ice formation and ice break-up – vary over time and affect both the non-living environment and its fish. For example, waterways can fill up with ice and kill all fish that do not manage to flee to backwaters or deeper stretches of quiet water that is not filled with ice. Young fish are especially vulnerable.

The researchers also discuss how humans have impacted what happens in streams and rivers in the winter.

“Rivers that have been exploited for hydroelectric power can be especially hard for fish to live in, because the way hydropower is produced often means that the flow is radically changed again and again, which can lead to repeated ice break-ups and a great deal of bottom ice formation. When the ice cover at the surface disappears, cold air is fed downward in the water and forms ice crystals that cover the bottom, making it hard for fish to survive,” says Christer Nilsson.

The scientists draw a number of conclusions from the study. One is that more measurements are needed in order to be able to predict when extreme situations in waterways may arise and that information about both the lives of different fishes and how they are affected by extreme events should be included in such data gathering. Another is that models of how water moves and what fish populations look like should also take winter conditions into consideration.

Today most models are about the ice-free period. A third conclusion is that in order to be able to manage streams and rivers in a long-term sustainable manner, we need to pay attention to future changes in climate, for example, when we design restoration and conservation measures.

“The predictions made about what the winter climate will be like in the future say that there will be more back and forth between thaw and frost, entailing more unstable ice conditions, more rain, and flooding, and ultimately perhaps more challenges to the survival of fish in many waterways,” says Christer Nilsson.

Original publication:
The article will be published in the March issue of BioScience
Weber, C., C. Nilsson, L. Lind, K.T. Alfredsen & L.E. Polvi. 2013. Winter disturbances and riverine fish in temperate and cold regions. BioScience 63:199-210. doi:10:1525/bio.2013.63.3.8.
For more information, please contact:
Christer Nilsson, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Phone: +46 (0)90-786 60 03, E-mail: christer.nilsson@emg.umu.se

Ingrid Söderbergh | idw
Further information:
http://www.umu.se

Further reports about: BioScience fish population ice crystal ice formation

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>