"Climate Change Effects on Temperate Fish Populations During a Warmers 21st Century"

This Friday, April 7, 2017 the College of the Coast & Environment will be hosting Dr. Troy Farmer from Auburn University, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences for the Spring CC&E Seminar Series. Dr. Farmer’s topic for the seminar will be “Climate change effects on temperate fish populations during a warmer 21st century.” Please join us in the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium for this very informative talk.


Although climate warming is expected to benefit cool-water fishes by lengthening the spring through fall growing season, declines in reproductive success following short, warm winters may counter such positive effects. Using analysis of long-term datasets, laboratory experimentation, field investigations, bioenergetics-based modeling, and population modeling, I tested the hypothesis that short, warm winters would negatively affect Lake Erie yellow perch Perca flavescens by 1) disrupting reproductive development (i.e., gametogenesis), 2) altering spring spawning phenology, and, ultimately, 3) reducing the number of juveniles recruiting to the fishery. My analyses revealed that failed year-classes consistently followed short, warm winters. Experimentation and field investigation demonstrated that short winters caused females to spawn at warmer temperatures and produce smaller eggs that both hatched at lower rates and produced smaller larvae than females exposed to long winters. Population modeling, which combined these mechanistic findings with future climate projections, predicted declines in yellow perch recruitment by mid-century (2046-2065) under all future emissions scenarios, with greatest declines predicted under the highest emission scenario. Ultimately, this research offers novel mechanisms to explain past Lake Erie yellow perch recruitment variation, as well as how continued climate warming may threaten other cool-water fishes with similar physiology and life-history.

Lunch will be provided immediately following the seminar in the conference room next to the auditorium.

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Where: Dalton J. Woods Auditorium
LSU Energy, Coast, and Environment Building