At the nexus of climate change and invasive species – Summit County Citizens Voice

GR:  Until recently, naturalists said that invasive species introduced intentionally and accidentally by humans were the second most deadly force destroying nature. Construction of roads and towns was first. Most scientists are now saying that global warming will soon be number two. This article explains part of the reason.

“U.S. Geological Survey scientists have completed one of the first experimental studies to explore links between climate change and invasive species, specifically how brook trout and brown trout interact with rising stream temperatures. They found that non-native browns limit the ability of brook trout to use warmer water temperatures, By contrast, removing browns allowed brook trouts’ reach into warmer waters.

“Brookies are freshwater fish native to eastern North America and threatened by climate change because of their requirement for cold stream temperatures. Brown trout are native to Europe and have been introduced all around North America.

“We know streams are warming due to climate change and non-native species are becoming increasingly abundant in many places,” said Nathaniel Hitt, U. S. Geological Survey research fish biologist. “Our research indicates that reducing Brown Trout numbers can benefit native Brook Trout where the species co-occur,” Hitt said. Brown trout management could help brookies be more resilient to anticipated effects of climate change, he added.

Source: At the nexus of climate change and invasive species – Summit County Citizens Voice

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